Message to U.S. Citizens in Canada: Stricter Rules for Transiting Canada to or from Alaska

July 30, 2020

Location: Canada

Event: Stricter Rules for Transiting Canada to and from Alaska

Information: The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that as of July 31, 2020, at 12:01 am PDT stricter rules and additional entry conditions will be imposed on travellers transiting through Canada to or from Alaska for a non-discretionary purpose. Travel restrictions remain in place that prohibit entry into Canada by foreign nationals for discretionary purposes with very limited exceptions.

The following is a summary of the new transit rules. Full information is available in the CBSA News release.

In-transit foreign nationals:

  • If transiting to Alaska, must enter Canada at one of the five identified CBSA ports of entry (POE):
  1. Abbotsford-Huntingdon (British Columbia)
  2. Coutts (Alberta)
  3. Kingsgate (British Columbia)
  4. North Portal (Saskatchewan)
  5. Osoyoos (British Columbia)
  • Will be allowed a reasonable period of stay to carry out the transit.
  • Will be limited to travel within Canada using the most direct route from the POE to the intended POE of exit, while avoiding all national parks, leisure sites and tourism activities.
  • Will be required, before entering the U.S., to report to the nearest CBSA POE to confirm their exit from Canada.

Travellers who arrive at a non-identified POE for the purpose of transiting to Alaska will be denied entry and advised to go to one of the five identified POEs.

These measures also apply to foreign nationals transiting to the United States through Canada from Alaska. However, entry into Canada from Alaska on the northern border is not limited to designated POEs.

No matter the reason for travel, all foreign nationals who have COVID-19 or exhibit any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada.

In-transit travellers will be issued a vehicle “hang tag” to be attached to their rear-view mirror for the duration of their trip to or from Alaska to support compliance while they are in Canada.

If admitted into Canada, in-transit travellers will be provided with a Public Health Agency of Canada handout stating that travellers should:

  • Avoid contact with others while in transit.
  • Remain in the vehicle as much as possible.
  • Not make any unnecessary stops.
  • Practice physical distancing at all times.
  • pay at the pump if they need gas
  • Use a drive through if they need food.
  • Wear a suitable mask or face covering while in transit.
  • Ensure good hygiene practices if they need to use a rest area.

In-transit travellers are encouraged to use only those services that are open to travellers along the direct route on which they are travelling.

 Actions to Take: 

Keep STEP Enrollment Active—

  • Encourage U.S. citizen friends and family to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)so the U.S. Embassy and Consulates can contact them with updated information. If you plan to remain in Canada beyond your previously planned travel dates, remember to modify your STEP profile in order to continue to receive information and emergency alerts. 

Monitor the following U.S. Government websites—

Please visit the FBI site for information on national security.

Monitor the following Canadian Government websites—

Monitor the following additional suggested websites— 

  • Airlines, buses, trains, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.

Follow us on— 

For Assistance: The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General are continually monitoring the current situation in Canada and continue to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.  

U.S. Embassy Ottawa

490 Sussex Drive

Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8

Telephone: +1 (613) 688-5335

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (613) 238-5335

Fax: +1 (613) 688-3082



U.S. Consulate General Montreal

1134, Rue Ste-Catherine West

Montreal, QC H3B 1H4


Telephone: +1 (514) 398-9695

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (416 ) 645-9124

Fax: +1 (514) 398-9748


U.S. Consulate General Toronto

360 University Ave

Toronto, Ontario M5G 1S4


Telephone: +1 (416) 595-1700

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (416) 595-6506

Fax: +1 (416) 595-5466


U.S. Consulate General Vancouver

1075 West Pender Street

Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 2M6


Telephone: +1 (604) 685-4311

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (604) 685-4311

Fax: +1 (604) 685-7175 


U.S. Consulate General Halifax

Purdy’s Wharf Tower II

1969 Upper Water Street, Suite 904

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3R7


Telephone: +1 (902) 429-2480

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (902) 429-2480, Press 1

Fax: +1 (902) 423-6861


U.S. Consulate General Quebec

2, rue de la Terrasse Dufferin

(Vieux Quebec, behind Chateau Frontenac)

Quebec, Quebec G1R 4T9


Telephone: +1 (418) 692-2095

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +1 (418) 692-2096

Fax: +1 (418) 692-4640 


U.S. Consulate General Calgary

615 Macleod Trail S.E.,

10th Floor

Calgary, Alberta, T2G 4T8


Telephone: +1 (403) 266-8962

Fax: +1 (403) 264-6630