Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that Canada will not require COVID-19 testing for Point Roberts residents who travel through Canada for essential services. Land access to Point Roberts, located south of Vancouver, B.C., on the Tsawwassen Peninsula, is only possible via a 25-mile trip through British Columbia.
Canada's policy requiring proof of a recent negative COVID test for visitors who arrive by land took effect Feb. 15. When the policy was announced the week prior, the governor's office immediately reached out in a letter to the Canadian government to convey the concerns of Point Roberts residents.
The Consulate General of Canada informed the governor's office of the exemption Wednesday. The exemption states that habitual residents of Point Roberts are exempt from having to take a test in either the United States or 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. "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."
The governor's office has been working with the congressional delegation and Canadian officials since last year to resolve the unique challenges facing Point Roberts residents as a result of the global pandemic.