OTTAWA (AFP) – Canada and the United States on Monday (Oct 19) extended a ban on non-essential travel between the two countries to November 21 in order to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, Ottawa announced.
“We are extending non-essential travel restrictions with the United States until November 21st, 2020,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a Twitter message.
“Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe,” he said.
The world’s longest international border has been closed to nearly all types of crossing except goods trading since March 21, with the travel ban extended every month since then.
Travel between Canada and the US usually sees 400,000 border crossings per day, but has fallen off to a trickle since the pandemic restrictions were put in place.
Speaking to Hamilton, Ontario, radio station 900 CHML, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented: “We’d love to have the border open.
“A whole bunch of our businesses and communities would appreciate getting American tourists back and having family members come back and forth freely.
“But we can’t do that unless we’re comfortable that Canadians are being kept safe and right now the situation in the United States continues to be of concern.”
As at Monday, Canada has recorded a total of nearly 200,000 cases of Covid-19 illness, while the US has topped 8.1 million cases. Nearly 220,000 people in the US and more than 9,700 in Canada have died of Covid-19 illnesses.