Canada, U.S. extend border restrictions until June 21

OTTAWA, Ont. – Canada and the U.S. have agreed to keep the border closed to all non-essential travel until June 21, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.

The restrictions, which are not applicable to commercial vehicles, were first introduced in late March, and then extended until May 21, to stop the spread of Covid-19.

“We have had a lot of discussions with the provinces…, and there was a clear desire to keep the current measures in place at the border.”

– Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“We have had a lot of discussions with the provinces over the recent weeks, and there was a clear desire to keep the current measures in place at the border,” Trudeau told his daily Covid-19 briefing.

“As you know, that is a source of vulnerability for all of us in terms of Covid-19 cases coming into our country.”

He said the Americans were completely open to extending the closure to non-essential travel for another month.

Trudeau was asked whether there is a possibility of a further extension beyond June 21.

“The decisions that we’re taking are very much made week to week in this crisis,” he said.

“The situation is changing rapidly, and we’re adjusting constantly…”

– Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“The situation is changing rapidly and we’re adjusting constantly to what is the right measures for Canadians to get that balance right between keeping people safe and restoring a semblance of normality and economic activity that we all rely on.”

Border - CBSA
Photo: CBSA

The Canada Border Services Agency has reported a sharp decline in both passenger and truck arrivals since the measures went into effect.

It said truck driver arrivals during the week of May 11-17 declined 31% to just over 81,000 from nearly 117,000 in the same period in 2019.

During the week of May 4 -10, there was a 33% decline in truck crossings.

Overall, volumes were down 88% for those crossing via land, and 98% through airports last week, compared to the same time a year ago, the agency said.

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