Canada and the United States have agreed to extend the current closure of the border to all non-essential travel for at least another month as the fight against COVID-19 continues in both countries, sources tell CTV News.
Travel restrictions across the Canada-U.S. border took effect on March 21. That agreement exempted the flow of trade and commerce, as well as vital health-care workers such as nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border. Set to last 30 days, terms of the arrangement were due to expire on April 21.
The extension will see these restrictions remain in place for another 30 days.
With U.S. President Donald Trump unveiling on Thursday, April 16, a three-stage plan to reopen parts of the United States, Canada has insisted that the decision to lift travel restrictions between the two countries will not be made unilaterally by the U.S.
“Decisions about Canada’s border are taken by Canadians, full stop. When it comes to easing border restrictions of all kinds our government will only do that when it is appropriate and when it is not a risk to the health and security of Canadians,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the shutdown of the Canada-U.S. border to all non-essential travel was likely going to be one of the suite of public health restrictions that would remain in place for weeks.
During his daily press briefing, Trudeau said on Friday, April 17, that his team is in “constant and ongoing” talks with the Trump administration about the two countries’ COVID-19 response, including border restrictions.
“We do not feel that reopening the border any time soon is likely. My responsibility is to ensure the protection and safety of Canadians, that is what we will continue to do, and the conversation with the Americans has been extremely aligned and extremely productive,” said Trudeau.