Tourists don’t qualify as essential travel across the Canadian border this spring, but Indigenous people, athletes and truckers do.
Border crossing points will remain under limited schedules through at least May 21 due to risk of spreading COVID-19 infection, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency. That includes six border ports in Montana and one in Idaho.
Three of those sites will have seven-day weekly schedules. In Montana, the port of Raymond will be open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. while the port of Piegan will operate 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Idaho’s port of Porthill will operate 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Montana ports of Opheim, Morgan, Del Bonita and Turner operate only Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The seasonal port of Chief Mountain between Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta is not expected to open until pandemic travel restrictions relax. The Wildhorse port north of Havre will remain on its winter hours schedule of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
CPB spokesman Mark Hanson said the Department of Homeland Security is continuing to limit tourism or recreational travel at the borders of both Canada and Mexico.
“These restrictions do not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel between the U.S. and Canada and/or Mexico, but do apply to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat travel between the U.S. and Canada and/or Mexico,” Hanson said in an email on Monday.
“These restrictions are applicable at land border and coastal ports. Additionally, as professional sports begin to resume operations, travel by these athletes through land ports of entry to participate in sporting events is considered essential.”
“Members of federally recognized Tribes, whose reservations span the U.S.-Canada/Mexico border, are also considered essential, when traveling from one part of a reservation to another,” Hanson added.