Some COVID-19-related border measures have been waived for British Columbians trying to return home amid record flooding across the province.
“Given the current situation in B.C., travellers who must transit through the United States to get to their residence in Canada are exempt from the COVID-19 pre-arrival test, the test in Canada, and quarantine requirements,” Rebecca Purdy, a spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency told Global News Tuesday.
B.C. declares state of emergency amid record-breaking floods
The travel exemptions would be granted if a person is returning to their home in Canada after carrying out everyday functions that, because of geographical constraints, necessarily involve entering the U.S., Purdy said.
Currently, anyone entering Canada is required to be fully vaccinated with shots approved by Health Canada, and show proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or their arrival at the land border crossing.
The federal government is expected to announce later this week it is dropping the negative PCR test requirement for Canadians returning home from the U.S. for any trip less than 72 hours, according to B.C. Premier John Horgan at a news conference on Wednesday.
B.C. floods: What the state of emergency means for the province
Heavy flooding and mudslides have wreaked havoc in B.C., stranding residents, forcing mass evacuations, causing massive destruction and cutting off vital transportation links in recent days.
On Wednesday, Horgan declared a state of emergency, which gives the gives the province various powers to prevent hoarding and to restrict travel in and out of flood zones.
Earlier, the Canadian military said it was sending more air support to help B.C. residents.
Defence Minister Anita Anand said Wednesday the federal government is deploying more military air support crews to assist with the crisis, following a request for help from B.C.
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