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US, Canada extend border restrictions to July 21

In this photo taken May 17, 2020, de Rham family members from the U.S. and Canada visit at the border between the countries in Peace Arch Park, in Blaine, Wash. With the border closed to nonessential travel amid the global pandemic, families and couples across the continent have found themselves cut off from loved ones on the other side. But the recent reopening of Peace Arch Park, which spans from Blaine into Surrey, British Columbia, at the far western end of the 3,987-mile contiguous border, has given at least a few separated parents, siblings, lovers and friends a rare chance for some better-than-Skype visits. Photo: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson. In this photo taken May 17, 2020, de Rham family members from the U.S. and Canada visit at the border between the countries in Peace Arch Park, in Blaine, Wash. With the border closed to nonessential travel amid the global pandemic, families and couples across the continent have found themselves cut off from loved ones on the other side. But the recent reopening of Peace Arch Park, which spans from Blaine into Surrey, British Columbia, at the far western end of the 3,987-mile contiguous border, has given at least a few separated parents, siblings, lovers and friends a rare chance for some better-than-Skype visits.

Associated Press
Created: June 16, 2020 11:51 AM

Canada and the US have agreed to extend their agreement to keep their border closed to non-essential travel to July 21 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday's agreement extends the closure by another 30 days. The restrictions were announced on March 18 and were extended in April and May.

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"This is a decision that will protect people on both sides of the border as we continue to fight COVID-19,” Trudeau said.

Many Canadians fear a reopening. The novel coronavirus has sickened more than 2 million people in the U.S. and killed more than 115,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. It has sickened more than 99,000 and killed 8,175 in Canada.

Americans who are returning to the U.S. and Canadians who are returning to Canada are exempted from the border closure. Immediate family members of Canadians are also allowed entry into Canada, but must quarantine for 14 days.

And essential cross-border workers like healthcare professionals, airline crews and truck drivers are still permitted to cross. Truck drivers are critical as they move food and medical goods in both directions. Much of Canada’s food supply comes from or via the U.S.

Canada sends 75% of its exports to the U.S. and about 18% of American exports go to Canada. The U.S.-Canada border is world’s longest between two nations.

Trudeau said he is open to a Canadian city hosting National Hockey League games if if local health officials agree with it. The league plans to have training camps open in July and to play games without spectators in a couple of cities in late July or August.

“Canada is open to it so long as it is OK by the local health authorities,” he said.


(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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