Canadians Avoiding Hotel Quarantines for Air Travelers Fuel Taxi Boom on U.S. Border

New York
Car travel between the U.S. and Canada has seen a drastic increase. (Courtesy)

U.S. taxi and limousine services are seeing a boom in business from customers seeking to enter Canada by land to avoid a restriction on international travel that applies only to air traffic.

While both Canadian land and air travelers are required to take a test within three days of departure, and again on arrival, only those flying to Canada must spend up to three days of the country’s 14-day required quarantine period in a hotel.

That has led to a surge of calls for taxi and limousine services from Canadians who fly through U.S. airports in states like New York and then cross over the land border, representatives of four companies told Reuters.

“They call from six in the morning to 12 at night,” John Arnet, general manager of 716 Limousine in Buffalo, N.Y., said. “We’ve had so many requests for border crossings that we’re turning them down.”

The company now does more business driving Canadians to their homes in Ontario than with U.S. clients.

Canada has imposed tough restrictions since the start of the pandemic, including a ban on most foreigners entering the country. Canadians can fly out of the country and return either by land or air.

But concerns are mounting due to a surge in virus variants, with the once temporary hotel quarantine now mandatory for air travelers through late May, and a ban introduced this week on direct flights from India and Pakistan.

The boom for U.S. taxis could soon be muted as premiers from Canada’s two most populous provinces, Quebec and Ontario, have urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take further action at the land border.

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