Canada-U.S. Border Closure Extended Through October 21 Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

On Friday morning, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair took to Twitter to announce that the U.S and Canadian border will remain closed until at least October 21 to slow down the spread of coronavirus. 

The Twitter post read: “We are extending non-essential travel restrictions with the United States until October 21st, 2020. We will continue to base our decisions on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe,”.

Since Mid-March, the Canada-U.S. border has been closed to non-essential travel such as vacations and shopping trips, and have been extended on a monthly basis. 

With the previous extension deadline set to expire on September 21 and the rising number of new COVID-19 cases reported each day, it was not a surprise that both countries have agreed to extend the agreement to keep the border closed. 

According to the data from John Hopkins University, Canada has reported 142,879 coronavirus cases and 9,249 deaths as of Friday. On the other hand, the U.S has reported 6,678,382 cases and 197,696 deaths.

There have been previous efforts from the U.S congress members initiating conversations about reopening the border with Canada amid the pandemic urging both countries to “immediately craft a comprehensive framework for phased reopening of the border”. 

The group of U.S Congress members have argued that “Continuing to extend border restrictions at 30-day intervals is untenable for the communities that have been separated from family and unable to tend to their property for over three months,”.

In response to the letter, a spokesperson for the office of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said that while conversations between Canada and the U.S. about the border are ongoing, “both sides agree that the current measures in place” have “worked well.”

Although the Canada-U.S. land border remains closed until at least Oct. 21, Canadians can still fly into the U.S. as long as they have not recently been to countries such as China, Brazil or the United Kingdom.

The Government of Canada however still emphasizes that all non-essential travel outside of Canada should be avoided if possible. 

The federal government has made it clear on its website that people deciding to travel during the pandemic could not only put themselves and others at risk of being infected with the novel coronavirus, it could also result in them becoming stranded.

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