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.

Photo: CBSA

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."

Canada, U.S. extend border restrictions until June 21Photo: CBSA

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

During the week of May 4 -10, passenger volumes were down 88% for those crossing via land, and more than 97% via airports, compared to the same time a year ago, the agency reported.

And, there was a 33% decline in truck drivers entering the country, compared to the same period last year, it said.

The latest figures are expected to be released later Tuesday.

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