Canada-U.S. border closure extended until late June
Prime Minister Trudeau kicked off his media briefing on Tuesday with a bang, revealing some big news about the Canada-U.S. border up front: It will remain closed for at least another month.
"Let me begin this morning by confirming that Canada and the United States have once again agreed to extend by 30 days the current measures in place along the border," he said right after descending the steps of Rideau Cottage.
"This is an important decision that will keep people in both of our countries safe."
#BREAKING: PM Justin Trudeau says Canada and the US have agreed to extend border closure measures for another 30 days. #covid19canada pic.twitter.com/JW6dAPXuts— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) May 19, 2020
The announcement comes as many things across the country are beginning to open up and life for residents is starting to return to a new form of normal, leading some to wonder when non-essential travel will be permitted once again (because after the stress of the past few months, who doesn't want a vacation?).
The current border closure, which had already been extended after it was implemented mid-March, was only due to last until May 21.
When asked whether it might be extended yet again beyond June 21, Trudeau said that the situation is "changing rapidly" and that the decisions are being made week-to-week, so nothing is out of the question.
"We're adjusting constantly to what the right measures are to get that balance right between keeping people safe and restoring a semblance of normality and economic activity that we all rely on... we're going to keep on making those decisions as time goes on," he said.
"We will continue to watch carefully what's happening elsewhere in the world and around us as we make decisions on next steps."
Though there have been speculations and hopes about when the border might reopen for non-essential travel — in part due to hints from U.S. President Donald Trump the resumption of some previously suspended international flight routes — it seems we'll have to keep waiting until mid-summer or later.
This is also economic issue, not just health. Multiple industries will not accept further closure, beyond just airlines other person mentioned. US will also probably not allow further closure, and like it or not, we are the weak sister.— Jim F (@JimF128) May 19, 2020
Trudeau did say to press today that when the border does reopen, the country will need to "do more" to ensure that proper precautions are taken in regards to international travelers.
"We've given ourselves another month before we have to have the right answers to questions on non-essential travel, but even now, we know that we need to do more to ensure that travelers coming back from overseas or from the United States are properly followed up on, are properly isolated and don't become further vectors for the spread of COVID-19," the PM said.
"We're working closely with the provinces to ensure that for arrival of people into Canada even now, but certainly once we get to a point where non-essential travel picks up again in the coming months, we need to have strong measures in place and we're looking at those closely."
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