KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Canada's Border Services Agency is reminding boaters that Canada's COVID-19 border crossing restrictions aren't just confined to land crossings.
Regardless of vaccination status, "unless exempt, foreign nationals, including United States citizens, cannot enter Canadian waters for any discretionary (non-essential) reasons," the agency explained in a June 10 press release. Discretionary reasons include sightseeing, pleasure and competitive fishing, fishing tours and travel to a cottage or summer home in Canada.
The restrictions apply to any movements in Canadian waters, "even if boaters are coming to port, anchoring or mooring," the release explains.
Boaters who enter Canadian waters for discretionary purposes can face penalties of up to $750,000 and up to six months of imprisonment.
"If at any point during transit, boaters come to port, anchor, moor or make contact with another vessel, they must report to the CBSA immediately," the release adds.
Failing to report to the CBSA comes with a minimum fine of $1,000, and can affect immigration admissibility and the ability to re-enter Canada in the future.
Boaters still may navigate through Canadian or international waters when traveling between two locations outside Canada, as long as the transit is direct, uninterrupted and by "the most reasonable route," per the release.