Coronavirus hotline established for cross-border Canadians

Mar 24, 2020

Canadians who believe they are engaged in essential travel but encounter difficulties getting across the Canada-U.S. border can call for help using a new hotline established by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Deputy Canadian Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is urging any essential traveler who is having trouble getting over the border to let the government know. The agency's Border Information Service is now available 24 hours a day and can be reached by calling 1-800-461-9999.

Canada and the United States put a mutual ban in place early Saturday prohibiting non-essential travel between the two countries as part of a joint effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Travel for work or school is still permitted, as are temporary foreign workers and long-haul truckers carrying shipments between the two countries.

Businesses that depend on being able to cross the border are keeping a close eye on the restrictions to make sure that essential travel doesn't get interrupted.

"CBSA has very swiftly set up a hotline and a website that people can use if they are at the border and they feel they are engaged in essential crossing of the border and need some help getting across," Freeland told a news conference in Ottawa. "Canadians doing essential work who need to cross the border, please use that hotline to let us know if you are having difficulties."