Canada and the US on Friday agreed to keep the border between the two countries closed to non-essential travel for another month to stem the spread of COVID-19, according to the Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
The agreement was first introduced in March and has been extended each month since, will remain in place until at least September 21.
Taking to Twitter, Blair said, “We are extending the reciprocal restrictions at the Canada-US border for another 30 days, till September 21, 2020. We will continue to do what’s necessary to keep our communities safe”.
We are extending the reciprocal restrictions at the Canada-US border for another 30 days, till Sept. 21, 2020. We will continue to do what’s necessary to keep our communities safe.
— Bill Blair (@BillBlair) August 14, 2020
The agreement, as it stands, exempts the flow of trade and commerce, as well as temporary foreign workers and vital health-care workers such as nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border. Tourists and cross-border visits remain prohibited.
In July, US Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said that restrictions on non-essential travel at the US’ land borders with Canada and Mexico would be extended through August 21 due to the ongoing pandemc.
In May, Canada closed its borders to all foreign nationals except US citizens and permanent residents.
Earlier, the US, Canada and Mexico had extended restrictions barring nonessential travel across their respective shared borders for 30 days amid the virus pandemic.
On Friday, Canadian Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said that the country will continue to monitor epidemiological data on both sides of the border before making a decision to open the country to more US travellers.
Tam said she didn’t want to see a spike in cases related to the United States after Canada has been able to flatten the infection curve with aggressive public health measures.
There have been 121,484 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,019 deaths on Friday, according to CTV.