TORONTO, ONTARIO (WWNY) - The U.S.- Canada border will remain closed to non-essential travel for at least another month.
The statement Friday by Canada’s Public Safety Minister Bill Blair came a day after Mexico announced a similar measure for its border with the United States.
The land border restrictions aimed at controlling the coronavirus pandemic were first announced in March and have been renewed monthly. The latest restriction has been extended to September 21.
Many Canadians are concerned about a reopening. Canada has flattened the epidemic curve, reporting 9,000 deaths and 123,000 cases.
The U.S. leads the world in confirmed deaths (167,00) and cases (5.2 million), according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Essential cross-border workers such as health care professionals, airline crews and truck drivers are still permitted to cross. Americans and Canadians returning to their respective countries are exempted from the border closure.
Canada sends 75 percent of its exports to the U.S. and about 18 percent of American exports go to Canada.
North country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, co-chair of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus, released the following statement:
“I remain committed to working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Canadian government to develop a framework for a phased and safe re-opening of our shared Northern Border. While essential personnel are still exempt from the travel restrictions – property owners, those with family across the border, recreational boaters, and our North Country economy as a whole are suffering due to the continued non-essential border closure. Both governments must work together on a plan of action to safely re-open and consider interim steps to ease the hardship on our border communities. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress, the White House, and the Canadian government on a pathway forward to end the uncertainty that stems from these continued 30-day extensions.”