Point Roberts residents can cross the border to B.C. without proof of vaccination
Residents of the tiny enclave of Point Roberts can now cross the land border into B.C. But unlike other Americans, they don’t have to show proof of vaccination.
The Canadian government has made an exception for Point Roberts and two other small border communities.
Residents can visit the closest Canadian community, which for Point Roberts is Tsawwassen, without having to prove they’re vaccinated or produce a negative COVID-19 test.
“If people want to go beyond that they have to have a negative PCR test to go into Ladner, Vancouver, Burnaby, etcetera,” said Point Roberts fire chief Christopher Carleton.
Ali Hayton, who owns International Marketplace, the only grocery store in Point Roberts, says British Columbians don’t have to worry about residents bringing COVID-19.
“I think it’s probably one of the safest places on the continent let alone the United States, because of the geographic uniqueness of it,” said Hayton. The vaccination rate in Point Roberts is 87 per cent.
While she is glad residents who’ve been essentially locked down in the tiny community for 18 months can now visit B.C., she’s worried they’ll begin shopping in Tsawwassen instead of her store. And because the border is only open one way, there won’t be Canadian visitors to make up the shortfall.
“I don’t see how they expect us to survive when they take what little business we have and lure it away,” said Hayton.
The fire chief agrees. “It’s the international influx that we need from the north to be able to come into our community of Point Roberts to help sustain, to prop up our businesses before winter,” said Carleton.
He is pleading with the U.S. government to make an exception and let vaccinated Canadians cross the border into Point Roberts.
North Vancouver’s Lindsey McTaggart, who owns a vacation property in Point Roberts that she hasn’t been able to visit in 18 months, also wants to see a reciprocal agreement with the U.S.
“There is a frustration there that it is just that one way, especially (since) we have done so well with our own vaccinations here in Canada,” she said. The mother of two misses taking her daughters to the cabin, but knows the inconvenience for her family is nothing compared to the hardship of Point Roberts businesses.
“My heart goes out to the owners there, who must have had such a huge struggle in all this time,” said McTaggart. “It’s just so dependent on Canada. We miss them, we miss our friends. We just can’t wait to get back.”