Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the coronavirus border shutdown between Canada and the United States is being extended again, this time until July 21.
The 30-day extension comes as U.S. case numbers climb above two million and several states report surges in new cases amid a patchwork response between the federal and state governments there.
“I can now confirm that Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend current border measures by 30 days until July 21,” Trudeau said during his daily briefing on the pandemic response.
“This is a measure that will protect people on both sides of the border as we continue to fight COVID-19.”
The federal government shut down the border with the U.S. in March as the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world and both countries struggled to get the contagion under control.
The rules allow for essential business to continue, such as the crossing of transport trucks carrying food and essential goods, but bars non-essential crossings.
That’s led to family separations and strain as individuals on both sides of the closely-integrated border adapt to a life with it dividing between them, though some have found ways to circumvent that rule by flying rather than travelling across the land border.
Trudeau had signalled in recent weeks that the border shutdown with the U.S. would likely continue, citing serious concerns raised in his weekly discussions with the premiers about the risks posed from travellers from the U.S. as Canada fights to flatten its own curve.