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Old 06-09-2020, 05:37 AM   #1
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U.S. - Canada family reunification (summer 2020)

It may have been mentioned elsewhere in this section of the forum that the U.S. - Canada border has been shut until at least June 21.

An exception was announced yesterday to allow reunification of immediate family members.

This is a good thing, but it comes with an enormous logistical burden that includes mandatory 14-day quarantine, with law enforcement oversight of same, and other provisions.

I was born, raised, and educated in Canada, but I've lived in the U.S. for more than 30 years. I am the primary responsible next-of-kin to a Canadian parent in their 80's who has no other living family in our birth province of Nova Scotia. I travel to NS for at least a month every year, sometimes by Airstream, but I also make air trips periodically as well.

I am curious as to how many other binationals are planning to make the trip in their Airstream this summer, as I am. Plans, strategies, experiences, etc. Please post in this thread if this applies to you.

Note however that certain issues surrounding this travel are not widely discussed publicly, at least they have not been up until now. All this time, I've been in contact with some other binationals who have been coping with logistics such as caring for cross-border parents. Bottom line - IT'S COMPLICATED. Permission to cross the border has now been extended to a wider array of people, but IT'S STILL COMPLICATED.

Thanks and good luck.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:46 AM   #2
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That does sound complicated and challenging. I hope it works out for you, and I can't think of a more justified reason to travel there.

We were hoping to visit Nova Scotia/PEI in September with our Airstream, but we realize that may not be possible this year.
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:30 AM   #3
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It sounds like, reading the notification you linked, that you can quarantine at your parent’s home, with their consent.

Driving directly there from your border crossing seems like it would make the most sense.

Good luck.

Maggie
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Old 06-10-2020, 05:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
It sounds like, reading the notification you linked, that you can quarantine at your parent’s home, with their consent.

Driving directly there from your border crossing seems like it would make the most sense.

Good luck.

Maggie
My plan is to quarantine on my own land, off-grid, in my Interstate. It's essentially what I do every year anyway. The only difference is that I usually do it in the absence of a government order.

One bright spot in North America: The Governor of Maine announced that visitors to Maine will not be required to quarantine for 2 weeks if they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of entering the state.

I am hoping that other jurisdictions become emboldened by her move (somebody had to go first and she's the one). For about a month now, I've been in contact with federal and provincial elected representatives as well as community development advocates in Nova Scotia, pressing for this exact same measure. I've also contacted a constitutional attorney who is pursuing family-related cases before the courts. Everybody understands the need to control the virus, but until Maine's move, there was no precedent and no route to proving innocence. No example had been set.

So, that tidbit is relevant for the rest of you who do not face the international border question. Wondering where to vacation domestically this year? Maine will now welcome you without restriction if you pass a COVID-19 test as soon as you arrive - finally, a sensible, adaptive virus management policy. Maine is a beautiful state - it's not a bad option.
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Old 06-10-2020, 06:01 AM   #5
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Dang, I missed the edit window.

Let me preempt the obvious response on my post above, "Oh, but someone could test negative but still be positive upon arriving in Maine, because their infection is too recent to show up in a test."

There is never zero risk. Even if we get a fabulous vaccine, there will never be zero risk or anything close to it, because at least a third of Americans are polling that they will not take the vaccine. Some polls are saying as high as 50%.

Maine and every other jurisdiction are not in a position to pursue extirpation. The point is to strike a balance in getting the transmission risk as low as reasonably achievable.

People going on vacation and engaging in family reunification are motivated to be very cautious, especially if they are driving RVs. Nobody in their right mind wants to end up in an area where their medical insurance is out-of-network and where they have no logistical support should they end up in the hospital. Falling sick while traveling is a times-ten nightmare. This is a management facet that is totally absent from the public discourse on COVID-19 - the public is portrayed as not being conscious of their actions, and actions are being portrayed as totally randomized (remember those bouncing-balls graphic models of disease transmission) when they are most definitely not.

For that reason, a traveler testing negative upon arrival has a very high chance of being genuinely negative. Especially if they are the kind of older, retired, careful, financially secure traveler that every jurisdiction wants to see in their tourist pool.
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Old 07-25-2020, 07:40 AM   #6
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FYI, a heartwarming 5-minute video describing one man's quest to be reunited with his 90-year-old father in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions. He crossed the Atlantic solo in a 29-foot sailing craft, which took 85 days.

I feel a tiny bit like this, although my skill level is obviously orders of magnitude lower than what this guy demonstrated. I'm gearing up to cross North America in a 24-foot wheeled craft in a quest to be reunited with my 83-year-old father, without the same hazards that this mariner faced, but similarly not being at liberty to land anywhere along the route until the destination is reached.

On social media, I've read about so many dual citizens who cannot afford to make the trip to Canada given all the restrictions and compulsory quarantine. Many of them would have no choice but to pay for 2 weeks of hotel with meals delivered to them. Hotels are far more expensive in Canada than they are in the U.S. - that could easily cost about $3,000 for one person over and above air fare, on top of the loss of income for those extra weeks. Many people are not in a position to pay that kind of money, so they can't be reunited with their families. I am fortunate in being able to make the attempt.

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Old 08-25-2020, 08:52 PM   #7
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Policy clarifications/updates?????

If anyone gets any updates please post them ASAP!!
As of this writing it is nearing the end of August 2020. We are considering visiting our daughter and her family in southern Ontario in mid-September and she has been investigating for us. We BELIEVE (today, and we know everything can change tomorrow) that if we arrive at a border crossing near her home (we need to argue that we can drive nonstop from the border to our planned quarantine location - her house) with documentation showing that she is indeed a Canadian citizen and that we are her parents we should be allowed to cross. We expect we would be required to quarantine on her property for 14 days before we could explore the province further (neighboring provinces are requiring visiting Canadians to quarantine!). We expect that our presence at the stated quarantine location MAY be checked by authorities periodically.
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Old 08-26-2020, 06:07 AM   #8
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From what I understand this is discretionary from the CBSA officer. We have teams of people that are all over the world working. One guy you just came back from Arizona was told he did not have to self isolate and he could go back to work the next day. Two of our other guys just got back from the UK and both were told they needed to self isolate in a hotel for 14 days. Both of those guys could not even go back home, since their spouse is working outside of the home. We travel with letters saying we are essential services, but it is still up to the CBSA officer. So this is a crap shoot at best. And you will just have to pay your money and take your chances.
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Old 08-27-2020, 05:31 AM   #9
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We are still in Canada right now - Nova Scotia to be exact.

To make a very long story short, thus far, we have had a very positive border crossing and quarantine experience. That being said, a few caveats:

(1) We still have to cross back through the Nova Scotia / New Brunswick provincial border and across the Woodstock NB / Houlton ME international land border. So we have not completed the circuit just yet.

(2) I was over-prepared. I had EVERY possible document they could ask for. I had to show my marriage license at the international border (to prove family reunification) and my land deed at the provincial border (to prove my place of quarantine). If you are reuniting with a child, be prepared to show evidence of maternity / paternity. I was also carrying evidence of paternity (my Canadian father) but I was not asked to prove that part of it. I also had multiple redundant logistical contacts that I disclosed to the federal and provincial authorities proactively (names, phone numbers).

(3) We were EXCESSIVELY cautious in conforming to the law, and I think our intentions in that respect were clear to the authorities in question, such that by their discretion they allowed us in without hassle. I did an Instagram post (username interstate.blog) for every day that we were quarantined, to demonstrate it on a social media level. We were contacted by phone 12 out of the 14 days by provincial authorities to verify our compliance. Rumor has it that federal authorities dispatched local police to do an unannounced spot check to confirm that we were where we said we would be, but rumor also has it that they were not able to locate us in the woods (they phoned me independently of the other authorities and we talked by phone).

A couple of pics below, including two from my IG series. We erected our most ambitious cellular mast ever, given that we had to remain in contact with the monitoring authorities.

EDIT: Anyone who wants more anecdotal reporting on how this quarantining process unfolds... Google the radio program CBC Mainstreet Cape Breton and listen to the August 13 segment which should appear in your list. However, this program may be geofenced. If you are in the U.S., I don’t know if it will be accessible to you.





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Old 08-27-2020, 06:11 AM   #10
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Over-preparing is what you, do, IB, and it is one of your super powers.

In doing so, you often think of things others may not.

Sounds like it has been relatively uneventful, and that is good.

Maggie
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:13 AM   #11
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Use this mobile app to speed up your arrival process in Canada and spend less time with border and public health officers. Submit your information easily and securely using the app within 48 hours before arriving in Canada. The app helps you to:

• provide mandatory information that's required for entry into Canada
• reduce your wait time and points of contact at the border
• provide the Government of Canada with voluntary updates on your quarantine compliance and the development of any symptoms during the 14 days after arriving in Canada
Download the ArriveCAN app (iOS, Android or web format). Make sure you have the official version by downloading it here.


https://arrivecan.cbsa-asfc.cloud-nu...ada.ca/privacy

Android
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...sa.coronavirus

IOS
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/canarr...505394667?mt=8
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Old 08-27-2020, 11:53 AM   #12
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U.S. - Canada family reunification (summer 2020)

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Looks like the return of a proud Acadian. Jim
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:27 PM   #13
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ArriveCAN (the mobile app) was buggy on both front and back ends. I initially tried to use it but the system was down when we arrived at the border, and then it kept hanging every time I tried to use it to provide voluntary check-in information in the days that followed. Give it a try, but don’t rely on it.
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:16 AM   #14
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When I crossed in July, the Canadian customs agent said don't even try to use the ArriveCan app. Said he hadn't seen it work for anybody. Maybe it's better now.
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Old 08-31-2020, 11:35 AM   #15
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I'm very pleased that Interblog did not fall down from her 25-foot pole while mounting and/or adjusting her Yagi. Congratulations on a successful quarantine!
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Old 09-24-2020, 06:46 AM   #16
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Our border crossing experience 9/20

We just cleared the border into Ontario From Michigan (whew - it would be a long sad journey back to Seattle if they hadn’t let us in!). Our daughter (a naturalized Canadian citizen) has really done her homework and the border guard was very appreciative that we were ready with the documents he needed. She scanned and emailed copies of her Canadian passport (Proof of citizenship), birth certificate (proof we are family), driver’s license (proof of address,) and marriage license to a native born Canadian. I had typed up our quarantine plan stating we planned to drive non-stop to the “quarantine site” (her house) with contact information etc. (the only thing I neglected to include that he needed was the truck license number- easy problem to fix). He confirmed that we planned to stay in the AS and that we understood we need to stay 6’ (or mask on) from our daughter’s family. We need to stay at the quarantine site for 14 days and should expect to be checked on with a potential $1million penalty for breaking the rules.
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:12 PM   #17
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Did you use the ArriveCan app? I'm about to head up to Toronto area for the second time. I tried to use it the first time, border agent said it wasn't working then. I too had all the documentation, he seemed appreciative.
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We just cleared the border into Ontario From Michigan (whew - it would be a long sad journey back to Seattle if they hadn’t let us in!). Our daughter (a naturalized Canadian citizen) has really done her homework and the border guard was very appreciative that we were ready with the documents he needed. She scanned and emailed copies of her Canadian passport (Proof of citizenship), birth certificate (proof we are family), driver’s license (proof of address,) and marriage license to a native born Canadian. I had typed up our quarantine plan stating we planned to drive non-stop to the “quarantine site” (her house) with contact information etc. (the only thing I neglected to include that he needed was the truck license number- easy problem to fix). He confirmed that we planned to stay in the AS and that we understood we need to stay 6’ (or mask on) from our daughter’s family. We need to stay at the quarantine site for 14 days and should expect to be checked on with a potential $1million penalty for breaking the rules.
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Old 09-25-2020, 04:45 AM   #18
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ArriveCan app

"Did you use the ArriveCan app? I'm about to head up to Toronto area for the second time. I tried to use it the first time, border agent said it wasn't working then. I too had all the documentation, he seemed appreciative."

We did not use the ArriveCan app prior to entry as we had heard it was buggy. We are required to sign in or phone in within 48 hours of arrival - we tried the ArriveCan app and we could not get it to work correctly (we tried Chrome and FireFox both) so we are using the automated (but very clunky) phone in system. Interestingly the ArriveCan app shows it was updated yesterday (the day we arrived). Good travels!

Norman
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:15 AM   #19
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We just cleared the border into Ontario From Michigan (whew - it would be a long sad journey back to Seattle if they hadn’t let us in!). Our daughter (a naturalized Canadian citizen) has really done her homework and the border guard was very appreciative that we were ready with the documents he needed. She scanned and emailed copies of her Canadian passport (Proof of citizenship), birth certificate (proof we are family), driver’s license (proof of address,) and marriage license to a native born Canadian. I had typed up our quarantine plan stating we planned to drive non-stop to the “quarantine site” (her house) with contact information etc. (the only thing I neglected to include that he needed was the truck license number- easy problem to fix). He confirmed that we planned to stay in the AS and that we understood we need to stay 6’ (or mask on) from our daughter’s family. We need to stay at the quarantine site for 14 days and should expect to be checked on with a potential $1million penalty for breaking the rules.
You mentioned "at the site". Does that mean you can get out of the AS and spend time outdoors? Can you also go into their house or only on the property?
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Old 09-28-2020, 05:50 AM   #20
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You mentioned "at the site". Does that mean you can get out of the AS and spend time outdoors? Can you also go into their house or only on the property?
I am not the poster in question, but to bump the thread, let me relay what I have been told (noting that the policy changes frequently).

As long as there is not a medically vulnerable person at the location (and that will need to be proven), the quarantiners should be able to get out and move around within the property boundaries (inside and outside), with masks and six-foot separation.

Initially IIRC, there was no restriction on who people could quarantine with. But that was changed to exclude the medically vulnerable (most old folks).
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