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Canada-U.S. border unlikely to reopen to nonessential travel soon

Christian Fernsby |
The Canada-U.S. border is unlikely to reopen to nonessential travel soon as coronavirus is still raging in Canada, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

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Topics: CANADA    U.S.    BORDER   

"We know that there is a significant amount of time still before we can talk about loosening such restrictions," Trudeau said at his Thursday's press conference.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump indicated that there could be a loosening of measures sooner rather than later at the border, saying "Canada is doing well."

Last month, the two countries agreed to close the border to nonessential travel to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, exempting the flow of trade and commerce, as well as vital health-care workers like nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border.

Some 1.7 billion U.S. dollars' worth of goods and more than 400,000 people reportedly crossed the border each day on average prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thursday saw Canada's worst day since the outbreak, with 1,727 new cases and 185 deaths reported. In total, 1,195 people in Canada have died from COVID-19 and 30,106 were infected while the United States, with over 671,000 cases and 33,000-plus deaths, has reported more cases and deaths than any other country.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the decision of when to lift restrictions will not be made unilaterally by the United States.

"What I can guarantee is that decisions about Canada's border are taken by Canadians. Full stop. And when it comes to easing border restrictions of all kinds, our government will only do that when it is appropriate and when it is not a risk to health and safety of Canadians," Freeland said Thursday afternoon.

The Trudeau government will keep the border restriction in place for at least several more weeks, according to Canadian television network CTV.

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