Shomporko Desk:-Canadian and U.S. authorities have agreed to keep the border between the two nations closed to non-important travel until August 21.
Sources state the two governments are in the same spot with extending the border restriction measures for another month.
The ban on discretionary travel was first added in March and has been extended each month since. The most recent expansion was set to lapse on July 21.
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.
During a press briefing following a call with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau teased that a decision on the border would be coming later in the week.
Trudeau said that talks were “ongoing,” and vowed to “continue to work hard to keep Canadians safe and to keep our economies flowing.”
This comes as some U.S. political figures in border states have been pressuring Canada to begin a phased reopening of the shared border, despite the surging number of new cases of COVID-19 in parts of the United States, with some regions reporting record-breaking new daily case counts.
More people have died in the United States from coronavirus than there are confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada.
At the end of June, the federal government announced it would be extending to July 31 a ban on foreign travellers that exempted the United States.
The U.S. was exempt because of the ongoing a separate travel restriction agreement with Canada. It’s this agreement that sources say will be renewed for the fourth time since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.
As of June 9, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of either Canadian citizens or permanent residents can enter Canada to be reunited, under a limited exemption to the current border restrictions. This has allowed both foreign and cross-border Canada-U.S. families to reunite under certain stipulations.
When asked in May what the benchmarks will be for signs it’s an appropriate time to loosen travel restrictions, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that the first step would be carefully reopening travel restrictions within Canada.
She said drastically limiting who has been able to enter the country over the last few months — specifically international visitors — has been key to Canada controlling the outbreak.
Even when international travel can resume, Tam said the 14-day mandatory quarantine and follow-up enforcement of that order will remain “a cornerstone” of the disease control measures.
Photo credit: AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
News source: CTV News