Canada won’t require coronavirus testing for residents of Point Roberts traveling through Canada for any essential services, Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday.
The Consulate General of Canada informed Inslee’s office about the decision Wednesday, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
That move will allow Point Roberts residents — of whom there are approximately 1,300 — from having to get a test on either side of the border.
Travel between Point Roberts — a waterfront U.S. enclave connected to British Columbia — and the rest of Washington state requires a 25-mile trip through Canada.
“Point Roberts residents have had very real concerns about transit ever since the pandemic struck, and this exemption will ease some of the burden,” Inslee said in prepared remarks. “I want to thank the Canadian government for hearing our request, and to the state’s congressional delegation, who continue working on border access issues for Point Roberts residents.”
On Feb. 15, Canada implemented a policy that requires proof of a recent negative coronavirus test for visitors arriving by land, according to the statement.
The unique cross-border challenges have been a concern for Point Roberts residents since the start of the pandemic, ever since the two countries closed the border last March as the outbreak exploded in Washington.