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‘Canada-US border won’t reopen for many weeks due to Coronavirus pandemic,’ says PM Justin Trudeau

“Most countries in the world have restricted travel, and Canada and the United States are no exception”, Trudeau said.

SNS | New Delhi |

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said that his country’s border with the United States would not fully reopen for at least several weeks, rejecting US President Donald’s Trump overtures to do so sooner.

The border — the world’s longest international frontier at 8,900 kilometers (5,500 miles) — was shut to all non-essential travelers on both sides on March 21 in response to the coronavirus crisis. Cross-border trade has continued.

During a daily briefing, Trudeau said, “We are having ongoing discussions on border issues, on supply chains with the United States all the time”.

The prime minister further said that “the reality is that it will still be many weeks” before “we can talk about relaxing the restrictions on our borders,”

We “must protect our citizens, as every country does,” Trudeau added.

“Most countries in the world have restricted travel, and Canada and the United States are no exception”, he said.

On Wednesday, Trudeau said that the country’s  lockdown will last many more weeks and also warned people if the economy is reopened too soon, all the sacrifices they are making now might be for nothing as the country could see another peak in coronavirus cases.

On April 12, Canadian parliament has passed a massive COVID-19 relief bill, deemed by PM Trudeau as the country’s most significant economic program since the World War II.

In March, the prime minister had said that it is in the US and Canada’s interests to keep the border unmilitarised after the United States floated the idea of placing troops on the Canada-US border.

According to the latest government data, US officials apprehended 4,400 migrants at the Canada-US border in the 12 months to September 30, 2019, compared to 15,700 who crossed irregularly into Canada from the United States during the period.

As of Thursday, there were 30,092 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada, and 1,193 deaths.