The U.S.-Canada border has been closed since March, and it looks like it won’t be opening when the current closure agreement expires next week.
In a radio interview yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government will keep the border closed until the U.S. brings COVID-19 under control.
“We have committed to keeping Canadians safe and we keep extending the border closures because the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” said Trudeau told “The Start” radio program.
It will be the seventh time that Canada and the United States will extend a ban on non-essential travel. The original month-long ban, which does not cover trade or travel by air, was first imposed on March 21.
Back in July, Trudeau said that Canada was “able to control the virus better than many of our allies, particularly including our neighbor.”
While Covid-19 cases are on the rise in Canada, the caseload is only about a third of what the United States is experiencing. Canada currently has 5.3 new daily cases per 100,000 people, compared to 15.5 in the U.S., according to the Covid-19 risk-assessment tracker run by Harvard Global Health Institute and Brown School of Public Health.
To date, nearly 8 million Americans have become infected with the novel coronavirus and 217,000 have died. An often-cited model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington is currently projecting that the U.S. will hit 394,000 Covid-19 deaths by the end of January 2021.
“Now that cases are spiking again, with the approach of winter, with the approach of flu season, we need to get things back under control,” said Trudeau. “We will continue to make sure that Canadian safety is top of mind when we move forward. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place.”