Trudeau confirms extending Canada-U.S. border restrictions for another 30 days

Empty road at the U.S. port of entry into Blaine of Washington State is seen at Douglas-Peace Arch border crossing in Surrey, Canada, March 20, 2020. (Photo by Liang Sen/Xinhua)

The agreement to close the border to all non-essential travel between Canada and the United States has been extended for another 30 days.

 (Xinhua) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made clear that Canada and the United States have agreed to extend cross-border restrictions to all non-essential travel for another 30 days to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

“This is an important decision and one that will keep people on both sides of the border safe,” Trudeau said at his press conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Saturday.

On March 21, Canada and the United States reached an agreement to close the border to all non-essential travel for 30 days to stem the spread of COVID-19. The March agreement is set to expire on April 20.

The border closing did not affect essential travel, including truck and rail traffic carrying food and goods, and medical staff travel to work. Restricted flights between the two countries continue.

The extension comes a day after Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s discussions with U.S. officials.

“It’s another example of the excellent collaboration between our two countries,” Trudeau said.

At his daily press conference, Trudeau also announced that his government will allocate more than 306 million Canadian dollars (about 218 million U.S. dollars) to support Indigenous businesses against the COVID-19 crisis.

The financial support will allow Indigenous companies to access short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions, the prime minister added.

As of 1:30 p.m. Saturday Canada Eastern Time, Canada identified 32,413 COVID-19 cases and 1,346 deaths, according to CTV.

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