Hockey moms who accidentally left Canada granted quarantine exemptions

Two mothers and their sons have been granted quarantine exemptions after they accidentally crossed into the United States on the way to a hockey game in southwestern New Brunswick.  

In an email to CBC News, Debra Blackmore said she was called and told they are exempt from the two-week quarantine that had been imposed on Sunday. She did not offer specifics. 

Blackmore and another woman were taking their 12-year-old sons to a hockey game in St. Stephen, a small town in southwestern New Brunswick across the Saint Croix River from Maine, when her GPS led them straight to the border.

By the time they realized their mistake, it was too late to turn around, so they proceeded to the booth. 

When they got back to the Canadian side, they were told they would have to quarantine because they had been outside their vehicle — while it was searched — on the U.S. side. 

Federal regulations require travellers entering the country to quarantine for 14 days, even if they don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19.

Blackmore says she and the other mother contacted a number of government representatives about their predicament before ultimately being told they would be granted exemptions.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website, the federal government can issue exemptions to travellers. After several inquiries from CBC News on Monday and Tuesday, a spokesperson for the agency had yet to provide any other information. 

Exemptions can be granted if a person “entered the territory of the United States but did not seek legal entry” to the U.S. at a land border crossing, according to Rebecca Purdy, a spokesperson for Canada Border Services Agency.

This would apply only if “the person remained in the conveyance while outside Canada.”  

Purdy declined to talk about specific cases. 

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