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A wrong turn at the Maine-Canada border leads to 2-week quarantine for Canadian families

Maine-Canada border (Wbaron/WikiCommons)

Two families are required to quarantine for 14 days after a wrong turn led them across the U.S.-Canada border.

Debra Blackmore was headed to her son’s hockey game in St. Stephen, New Brunswick — a town across the Saint Croix River from Maine — with another family on Sunday when her GPS incorrectly took her to the border, the CBC reported.

Not wanting to create suspicion by doing a U-turn, Blackmore thought it was best to approach the gate, explain her predicament, and then border agents would let her turn around, the CBC reported.

U.S. border guards gave Blackmore a letter for the Canadian guards saying that the crossing was an accident and sent her back.

However, Blackmore’s vehicle was subjected to a search by Canadian guards before she got turned around, the CBC reported. She didn’t know that entering a building on U.S. soil during the search would have the outcome that it did.

Due to federal rules about international travel during the pandemic, travelers entering Canada must quarantine for 14 days — even though they don’t have any symptoms.

As a result, Blackmore and her three passengers — who showed no symptoms of the virus — are required to quarantine.

“We were just doing what the border patrol told us to do,” Blackmore told the CBC. “It didn’t even dawn upon us that quarantine would be an issue.”

Before they could reenter Canada, Blackmore told the CBC that they had to have a quarantine plan in place and were told by agents to drive directly home.

However, travelers who don’t show signs of COVID may be granted an exemption from quarantine under certain conditions, Rebecca Purdy, spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency, told the CBC.

Blackmore is seeking an exemption and hoping to salvage Christmas.

“It’s just ridiculous. We’ve gone through so many emotions,” she told the CBC. “Most of all, I cannot believe that this is happening.”


(c) 2021 the Bangor Daily News

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