Updated Info for Unvaccinated Travelers Under 18 Entering Canada
Driving to Minnesota’s NW Angle, an exclave, means traveling through about 40 miles of Canada before you re-enter back into the U.S. up at the Angle. This means traveling through a foreign country which has their regulations, just like the U.S. does, for whom can enter and what credentials you need to enter. This can get confusing, especially when youth are involved. We thought we would share some helpful information breaking down what is needed by whom so kids can come up and make some lifelong memories at the NW Angle.
What are the rules for unvaccinated travelers under 18 entering Canada on their way to the NW Angle?
We have received updated information on how to process youth under 18 that are unvaccinated and travelling with either their parent, step parent, tutor or legal guardian.
First off, it is important to understand those under 18 who are not vaccinated can travel with a legal guardian who is vaccinated.
Who is considered a Legal Guardian
As per the updated information, the definition of a legal guardian is to be taken as follows:
Guardian: Individuals who are responsible for caring for a minor who is living apart from a parent for an extended period of time. A guardian does not take over all parental responsibilities but has the authority to make decisions on behalf of a minor when a parent is not available. “Length of time apart” is not the primary consideration but rather if the guardian is responsible for the care of the child.
CBSA does not require a letter of authorization or that legal guardianship be in effect to qualify for this exemption.
As long as the person can show they have care over the unvaccinated children under 18, and the Border Security Officer is satisfied, then an unvaccinated child may enter with the fully vaccinated adult.
Questions and Answers for Clarification.
Question: So kids under 18 with vaxed parents can transit to NWANGLE. Right?
Answer: You are correct, under 18yr old un-vaccinated dependents can travel to the NWA with a fully vaccinated parent, guardian or tutor. That can be grandparents or any other adult that is fully vaccinated and is “responsible” for the care of the minors. The unvaccinated minors would require a negative pre-arrival COVID antigen test, and would be quarantined while in transit to the NWA.
Question: I am going to assume my mom and dad can take my nieces and nephews across the border to the Angle?
Answer: Your parents could travel with the nieces and nephews as long as your parents are fully vaccinated. If everyone is vaccinated then they can travel freely. All Still need to do ArriveCAN pre-arrival though.
Question: Are kids supposed to be entered in the ArriveCAN app? We’ve run into issues with entering the unvaccinated kid on the app has caused the app to be locked up and unusable for the vaccinated adult for the 10 or 14 day quarantine period.
Answer: Yes they do need to be entered into ArriveCAN. We know there are still ongoing issues with un-vaccinated kids with the app. If travelers end up quarantined by the app simply because of an unvaccinated minor child with them, just tell the Border Security Officer that is the situation, and they will work it out.
Question: Can I bring my grandkids over the border with me if I’m watching them for a weekend or is that stretching it? I’m vaccinated the kids are not. 6 and under.
Answer: Yes, unvaccinated minor children can travel with vaccinated parents, grandparents, temporary guardians.
Question: For clarification, kids under 18 must be added to the adult guardian’s ArriveCan. How many can they add and where do they add them? Any flaws or workarounds we should be aware of?
Answer: Yes kids need to be added to the parent/grandparent/guardian’s ArriveCAN. When you sign into ArriveCAN, there is a tab at the bottom of the main screen that allows you to set up co-travellers. Once they are added as travelers under your profile, you need to include them later when setting up the trip by checking off the box beside their name when the app asks you to select travelers for this trip. I am not sure how many you are allowed to add at a time so if you have a large group, may need to set up a couple trips to include everyone if the app limits how many are allowed to be set up on one trip.
Why Make the Effort?
The NW Angle. It’s the northernmost point in the contiguous United States. It is where the 14,552 islands of Lake of the Woods begin. It is also home to some of the best resorts, fishing, hunting, wildlife, birding and relaxation in America. Those who experience it usually come back including our youth who have traveled up and have made this, in many cases, a lifelong tradition.
If you are a Vaccinated Adult, Drive to the Angle.
Yes, it takes some effort to travel up to the NW Angle, but as some of the locals joke around and say, “it keeps the riffraff out!” All kidding aside, the rules to pass through Canada are certainly there and for some, they simply are not able to travel over the border. Luckily, there are other options.
Those who are vaccinated can choose to drive up, assuming they have the other criteria needed to enter Canada. These include credentials such as a passport, passport card or enhanced driver’s license. In addition, would be travelers with a DUI in their past should contact Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) well before traveling as Canada looks at a DUI as a felony, potentially blocking passage into Canada. There are potential work arounds depending upon when the DUI took place, but it is necessary to work this out before you are face to face with a CBSA border agent.
A new requirement for many who haven’t been across the border since the border closure is using the ArriveCan App, which is required. This app can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store or Google Play, depending upon the smart phone you own.
If you don’t own a smartphone, you can simply fill out the information on a computer (or have someone help you to do so) and print off the trip report and bring it with you to the border.
Once you use it one time, it is quite streamlined. Here is a short article walking you through the steps.
Traveling to the Angle, avoiding Canada and Customs.
There are a number of options to travel to the Angle and avoid crossing the border.
One option is boating across Big Traverse Bay from the south end of the lake. This is big water and it is recommended that travelers have a big boat, the expertise on big water and flexibility in their travel plans due to wind, storms, etc.
Lake Country Air is a fly in service to the NW Angle. These comfortable planes can fly you from their base in South St. Paul, MN, various Midwest destinations or the most popular flight, across Lake of the Woods from Baudette or Warroad.
The Lake of the Woods Passenger Service is a charter boat service that boats travelers across the lake to the NW Angle which also avoids customs. The passenger service will bring you round trip to the NW Angle resort of your choice.
Let’s face it, there is a bit of effort in traveling to the Angle. Canada is our close neighbor, but it is still a different country who has specific rules and regulations before they allow entry, much like any country does, including the U.S. Once you do it, it becomes quite easy. And once you smell the fresh Angle air and feel that tug on the end of your line, the hoops you had to jump through will simply melt away!