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Canada-U.S. border closure extended to Oct. 21

Last Updated Sep 18, 2020 at 12:07 pm EDT

U.S. Customs officers stand beside a sign saying that the U.S. border is closed at the U.S./Canada border in Lansdowne, Ont., on March 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg
Summary

The mutual ban on non-essential travel between the two countries has been in place since March 21


Ban prohibits discretionary travel like cross-border shopping without restricting trade, commerce and essential workers


Pandemic has raged in the U.S. over the spring and summer, and cases in Canada have recently started rising again


The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel until Oct. 21, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said on Friday.

The mutual ban on non-essential travel between the two countries has been in place since March 21.

The ban prohibits discretionary travel like vacations and cross-border shopping without restricting trade, commerce and essential employees.

Blair and his American counterpart, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, each tweeted the latest one-month extension of the closure agreement.

The pandemic has raged in the United States throughout the spring and summer, and cases in Canada have recently started rising again as well.

At the same time, leaders in border communities have asked federal authorities to loosen restrictions slightly to allow people with links on both sides to live more normally.

The Conservatives also called Friday for Blair to allow more compassionate exemptions to the closure, such as for people who are engaged to be married or where loved ones are seriously ill.