The U.S.-Canada border, the longest in the world, will remain closed for another month to non-essential travel in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that it is an extension on an existing agreement, meaning the border restrictions will remain in place until July 21 even as the two nations continue to reopen. The two nations agreed in March to close the border to only necessary travel.
“This is an important decision that will keep people in both of our countries safe,” Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday.
The agreement does not block trade and commerce, as well as temporary workers and healthcare workers.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland stated that the measures apply to “to all of Canada’s borders,” not just the 5,500-mile-long land border.
“When it comes to the Canada-U.S. border, as the prime minister announced today, we have agreed with our American neighbors to roll over for another 30 days, the measures that we have currently in place,” Freeland said on Tuesday, according to CTV News.
She noted that discussions between Washington and Ottawa on border restrictions were “very productive,” adding that it’s “based on a mutual recognition that the measures we currently have in place are working very well.”
Chad Wolf, the acting head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, told reporters that travel will also be limited along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Based on the success of the existing restrictions and the emergence of additional global COVID-19 hotspots, the Department will continue to limit non-essential travel at our land ports of entry with Canada and Mexico,” Wolf said in a statement. “This extension protects Americans while keeping essential trade and travel flowing as we reopen the American economy.”
Mexico’s foreign ministry wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the terms of the closure will stay the same since they were implemented on March 21. The ban applies only to non-essential travel.
Americans returning to the United States are exempted from the closures, according to the U.S. State Department. “Essential travel” also includes people traveling for medical reasons, people traveling to attend schools, people traveling to work, people traveling for healthcare reasons, people involved in “lawful cross-border trade,” those involved in diplomatic or government travel, and individuals involved in military-related operations, according to the agency.
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus, has sickened more than 2 million people in the United States and killed at least 115,000, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. The virus has sickened more than 99,000 people and killed 8,175 in Canada.