Rykerts Border Crossing near Creston and Bonners Ferry, Idaho is one of three Kootenay ports of entry that will see its hours reduced. Photo by Wbaron

Rykerts Border Crossing near Creston and Bonners Ferry, Idaho is one of three Kootenay ports of entry that will see its hours reduced. Photo by Wbaron

Kootenay Border Crossings will see hours reduced

The Rykerts, Nelway and Cascade Border Crossings will have its hours cut back this week

Canada Border Services Agency has reduced hours at three Kootenay border crossings.

CBSA announced last week that the Nelway border crossing near Salmo, the Rykerts crossing near Creston, and the Cascade crossing near Christina Lake will temporarily see its service hours reduced. The service reductions have been imposed on a total of 27 border crossings across Canada, targeting crossings with low traffic ports of entry on the Canada-US border.

“These COVID-19 related measures are temporary and in effect as of April 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT. They will remain in effect until further notice,” CBSA said in a release.

“The Government of Canada continues to introduce border measures to limit the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada. All non-essential travel into Canada continues to be prohibited.”

The Nelway crossing will see it’s hours go to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days per week, where previously it was open until 8 p.m., while the Cascade crossing will be in operation from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. down from its previous 8 to midnight hours.

The Rykerts border, which was first established in 1883, will see its operation reduced to 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days per week.

“Economic supply chains and trade will remain open and we will work to ensure that access to goods and services is not interrupted,” said the release. “As such, these changes should not affect commercial traffic.”

CBSA also added that:

· This temporary reduction of service hours will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as the public health situation evolves.

· As of March 21, there is a temporary 30-day restriction on all non-essential travel at the Canada-U.S. border, including but not limited to tourism and recreation.

· Travellers who are granted entry into Canada will be informed of Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)’s mandatory 14-day self-isolation requirement. This is mandatory for all coming into Canada even if they do not have any symptoms, as they are at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others. If they do have symptoms, they will be provided a mask and referred to a health professional.

· Travellers will also be required to provide their contact information and place of isolation to help PHAC monitor and enforce compliance with the 14-day self-isolation requirement.