Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that by mutual agreement, the Canada US border will remain closed to nonessential travel until at least June 21st.
Calling the border with the United States a clear point of vulnerability for Canada in terms of Covid-19 infections, Trudeau did not rule out a further extension of the border closure. The US-Canada border has been closed since March 21st.
“It was the right thing to further extend by 30 days our closure of the Canada, US border to travelers other than essential services and goods, but we will continue to watch carefully what’s happening elsewhere in the world and around us as we make decisions on next steps,” Trudeau said during his press conference.
When the border does reopen to nonessential travel, Trudeau suggested stronger measures be put in place, such as requiring quarantine, medical checks, and tracking for those entering Canada, including those from the US.
The Trump administration is also preparing to extend travel restrictions and stringent border control measures this week related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to two administration officials.
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam, said the only thing that has allowed Canada to manage this first wave of infections is the fact that international travelers have been banned and that returning Canadians residents have quarantined for two weeks. The mandatory 14-day quarantining of people who come to Canada remains a cornerstone as we go forwards.
Canada has had over 79,000 coronavirus cases and over 5,900 deaths. By comparison, there have been more than 1.5 million cases in the United States and over 90,000 deaths.
Since the border closed in March, both governments say essential commercial traffic has continued to flow smoothly. Essential workers, including hundreds of health care employees, also continue to cross daily into Michigan to work in health care centers in Detroit and across the state.