Travelling back from Florida? Eight tips for snowbirds returning to Canada

TORONTO — Canadian snowbirds are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days to curb the spread of COVID-19 upon their re-entry to Canada.

In a press release issued Tuesday, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the non-for-profit Canadian Snowbird Association shared eight tips so that travellers can have a “smooth return” to the country this spring.

They’re urging Canadian snowbirds to tell a CBSA officer if they have fever, cough or difficulty breathing. The border agency is advising them to visit a health care provider if they develop these symptoms within 14 days of their return to Canada.

Travellers can also check ahead of time for delays at the border on CBSA’s website or the app called CanBorder – Border Wait Time.

The CBSA is also warning against crossing the border with cannabis or any oils containing THC or CBD, unless it is accompanied with a Health Canada permit.

The agency is reminding those who spent more than seven days or more in Florida about what they can bring back: imported goods worth up to $800, duty- and tax-free, two bottles of wine, one large standard bottle of liquor or 24 cans or bottles of beer. Tobacco products that can be purchased at a duty-free store and brought into Canada include: 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams of manufactured tobacco, and 200 tobacco sticks.

Canadian snowbirds must declare if they have $10,000 or more in currency, as well as all food, plant and animal products that they bring back to the country.

The CBSA also recommends that travellers going through airports use the inspection kiosks for declarations.

Lastly, if someone is frequently travelling to the United States, the agency recommends becoming a NEXUS member.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced international travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian citizens, permanent residents, U.S. citizens, diplomats and flight crews are exempt from this ban.

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