Canada to USA travel question - the covid-19 edition
November 20, 2020 4:15 AM   Subscribe

Will I have problems at the border? Details below.

I am dual citizen living in Ontario, I have a Canadian and a US passport.
I'm planning to travel to Vermont next week to see family for the first time in a year. Is there any chance I will be denied entry into the US? Are they even allowed to do that if I have a US passport?
I plan to cross at the Hill Island crossing in NY, travel to eastern Vermont and stay at my parents' house until I leave. No partying, etc., obviously.
I'm pretty confident about it but with everything in the news I'm looking for some reassurance that this won't be a wasted car rental and brief trip to the border.
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon to Travel & Transportation around Niagara Falls, NY (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you're a citizen travelling on the passport of the country you're entering, it is extremely unlikely they will deny you entry. Take both passports, naturally, so you can be a Canadian citizen returning to Canada on your trip back.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:07 AM on November 20, 2020

Canada may require 14 days quarantine and for you to have a plan for that. I think your difficulty will be coming back in rather than getting into the US. I have had a lot of people not come to the US for the return quarantine issue, so that if that is still active it may be your complication.
posted by Brockles at 5:23 AM on November 20, 2020 [5 favorites]

No, you'll be fine. My neighbor here in BC is a dual citizen also and was able to travel to the States and back with no border issues. You will definitely have to quarantine for 14 days when you get back though.
posted by ananci at 5:33 AM on November 20, 2020

Having crossed the border both ways as a dual citizen during Covid, yes as a citizen you should be just fine. It may feel strange (when I crossed into the US, both times I was the only car amidst a whole bunch of semi trucks), but the agent conversations were pretty normal. As for the quarantine on entering Canada from the US, yes it is indeed still active. When you return you will need to assure the Canada border agents that you have quarantine plans in place. And someone will likely call you later to confirm that you’re following the rules (at least, they were doing this in Quebec a couple months ago).

You need to check Vermont’s quarantine rules too! NY state, for example, has a quarantine-upon-entry rule that applies to people coming from high-Covid-incidence states which also applies to people entering from other countries. I suspect Vermont probably has something similar.
posted by marlys at 6:20 AM on November 20, 2020

My son’s Canadian girlfriend, who’s a dual national with an American passport, visited us in NY no problem in August.
posted by LizardBreath at 6:29 AM on November 20, 2020

Vermont's been much stricter than other states, so you are really going to need to read the fine print carefully. (I miss Vermont! We usually visit it at least several times each year, but unfortunately the quarantine requirements have been too high (and I think that is good) to enter legally and safely.)
Anyone returning or traveling to Vermont must follow Vermont’s mandatory quarantine policy. Vermonters returning from an out-of-state trip must complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test.
posted by rambling wanderlust at 6:33 AM on November 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I think you could be in violation of Vermont's quarantine and possibly its ban on gatherings with people from outside your household (if you live alone you're allowed to gather with immediate family living in a different household).

If you live alone, are quarantining at home for two weeks, and the drive is a straight shot for you, you're not in violation though.

Even if you are in violation, it's unlikely anyone's going to enforce it (Vermont doesn't have, like, quarantine police) but you should be aware.
posted by mskyle at 6:34 AM on November 20, 2020

I'm planning to travel to Vermont next week to see family for the first time in a year.

As a Vermonter I am hoping that you will follow our very strict quarantine protocols. Thank you in advance.

But I am curious how you plan to visit family next week and do a 7-day with test or 14-day without quarantine.

Please reconsider you travel plans.
posted by terrapin at 9:59 AM on November 20, 2020 [7 favorites]

I'm in Vermont, unless you're staying for two weeks quarantined (or are already in quarantine at home) this is in violation of the guidelines for visitors.
If you plan to travel to Vermont in a personal vehicle (including a rental vehicle or private plane), you may complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative PCR test in your home state and enter Vermont without further quarantine restrictions. Continue to quarantine until you travel to Vermont.
Normally I would not even be mentioning this, and as mskyle says, there are not quarantine police, but since Vermont is still seeing surges and spikes from Halloween events and spreading as a result, I would not be going on this trip. And to answer your question, no there should not be trouble at the border.
posted by jessamyn at 10:00 AM on November 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

Ontario is considering revising its travel regulations this afternoon, which may include full lockdown. If you're already living in one of the high risk areas, travel may not be advisable.
posted by scruss at 11:01 AM on November 20, 2020

Response by poster: Calm down everybody. I am a misanthrope who works from home and have been avoiding other humans for years and quarantining for months. I plan to see exactly two people in Vermont and then leave. And yes I will be more strictly quarantining, if that's possible, for two weeks when I return.
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 1:21 PM on November 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

For the avoidance of doubt, Vermont's definition of quarantine:
As of November 14, 2020, Governor Scott’s Executive Order prohibits gathering with people from other households. This includes both inside and outside social gatherings, in public and private spaces.
Quarantine means staying at a home or dwelling before doing any activities outside of the home, like grocery shopping or recreational activities.
And Canada's:
stay at your place of quarantine or isolation for 14 days (only leave to seek medical assistance if needed)
They truly mean "do not leave your home or private outdoor spaces at all except for emergencies and medical care," not just general social distancing.
posted by zachlipton at 1:46 PM on November 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

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