Canada and the United States have agreed to keep the border between the two countries closed to non-essential travel until August 21, CTV News reported.
The ban, which has to be reviewed each month, was set to expire on July 21. It is now being renewed for the fourth time since the border was closed to non-essential traffic on March 21, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
The ban, as it stands, exempts the flow of trade and commerce, as well as temporary foreign workers and vital health-care workers such as nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border. Tourists and cross-border visits remain prohibited.
The reported new extension came after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump spoke on the phone Monday about a range of issues that included the border closure.
“We recognize that the situation continues to be complex in the United States in regards to COVID-19,” Trudeau said Monday at a press conference. “Every month, we have been able to extend the border closures to all but essential goods and services and those discussions are ongoing.”
The latest Nano polling suggests that more than 80 per cent of Canadians favour keeping the border restrictions in place.
Some public health officials have also suggested the border should remain closed until at least the end of the year because the COVID-19 pandemic is still out of control in the United States.
As of Tuesday, there have been 3,286,063 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 134,704 deaths in the United States while Canada has reported 107,590 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 8,783 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.