Canadians skirt COVID-19 restrictions by going over border as pedestrians.

Traveling home from Huatulco, Mexico, Rick and Berni Vernon of Orillia, Ont., were crossing the Rainbow Bridge on foot Wednesday morning to skirt come of the required Canadian quarantine rules. (Joe Genco/Staff)

If you think it’s been hard dealing with COVID-19 living in New York, consider the travails of our friends from across the border.

Flying into Canada results in a federal requirement for a three-day stay in a quarantine hotel that can cost up to $2,000 Canadian per person followed by an additional quarantine at home.

Lots of Canadians have been flying to United States airports and then walking across the border to avoid the quarantine requirement, according to CBC News which estimated more than 20,000 such crossings since February.

One such couple, Rick and Berni Vernon of Orillia, Ont., were crossing the Rainbow Bridge on foot Wednesday morning. They traveled from Huatulco, Mexico.

They decided to try the U.S. route after their flight home was canceled three times.

“I think the Canadian government is doing it to punish us,” Rick said. He just retired at the age of 59 from his overhead door company and spent 11 weeks in Mexico with Berni as a post-retirement celebration.

They left Mexico City at 8 a.m. Tuesday, flying to Atlanta and then Buffalo reaching the border at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“The experience traveling has been phenomenal,” Rick said. “Everyone was so nice. Our government and Prime Minister Trudeau has created a crap show to try and punish Canadians who travel.”

Berni said the couple was antigen tested in Pochutla, Oaxaca, Mexico; then they were tested again in Atlanta and one more time in Buffalo. Once they crossed into Canada, they expected to be tested again before finally making it home and planning to quarantine for the required 14 days.

The Canadian Government’s travel website, reports a test is required for Canadians eight days after returning home and in the middle of a 14-day quarantine. The border has been closed since March, 2020 and will remain so through at least May 21.

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