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Canada, US extend border closure to non-essential travel

Associated Press logo Associated Press 19-05-2020 By ROB GILLIES, Associated Press

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In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, Bryan Albano, walks with his son Zachary atop his shoulders in Canada at Peace Arch Provincial Park, adjacent to Peace Arch Historical State Park on the U.S. side, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, Bryan Albano, walks with his son Zachary atop his shoulders in Canada at Peace Arch Provincial Park, adjacent to Peace Arch Historical State Park on the U.S. side, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

TORONTO (AP) — Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday the border is a source of vulnerability, so the agreement will be extended by another 30 days. The restrictions were announced on March 18 and were extended in April.

In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, a woman and baby walk in Peace Arch Historical State Park in the U.S. on the border with Canada, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, a woman and baby walk in Peace Arch Historical State Park in the U.S. on the border with Canada, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Trudeau said Canada's provincial leaders clearly wanted to continue the measures.

In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, a truck from Canada heads to the single open lane heading into the U.S. at the Peace Arch border crossing in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, a truck from Canada heads to the single open lane heading into the U.S. at the Peace Arch border crossing in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

“This will keep people in both of our countries safe." Trudeau said.

U.S. President Donald Trump also confirmed the extension, but looked forward to its eventual end, saying, “everything we want to get back to normal."

“We love Canada, so we’re going to be talking, and at the right time, we’ll open that up very quickly. That will go very easily," Trump said. He was asked if opening travel could occur before June 21 and he replied that it could.

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But many Canadians fear a reopening. The U.S. has more confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any country in the world, though its per capita numbers are well below many other nations.

In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, a bird flies from the U.S. into Canada over the Peace Arch in Peace Arch Historical State Park on the border with Canada, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, a bird flies from the U.S. into Canada over the Peace Arch in Peace Arch Historical State Park on the border with Canada, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Acting U.S. Secretary Chad Wolf said non-essential travel will not be permitted until the administration is convinced that doing so is safe and secure.

“We have been in contact with our Canadian and Mexican counterparts and they also agree that extending these restrictions is prudent at this time,” Wolf said in a statement.

Essential cross-border workers like healthcare professionals, airline crews and truck drivers are still permitted to cross. Truck drivers are critical as they move food and medical goods in both directions. Much of Canada’s food supply comes from or via the U.S.

In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, a single lane remains heading into Canada from the U.S. at the Peace Arch border crossing in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, a single lane remains heading into Canada from the U.S. at the Peace Arch border crossing in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Americans who are returning to America and Canadians who are returning to Canada are also exempted from the border closure.

Canada sends 75% of its exports to the U.S. and about 18% of American exports go to Canada. The U.S.-Canada border is world’s longest between two nations.

Asked about possible testing at the border and contact tracing when the border does fully reopen, Trudeau said officials have given themselves another month to examine what's needed.

In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, visitors walk in Peace Arch Historical State Park on the border with Canada, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, visitors walk in Peace Arch Historical State Park on the border with Canada, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

“These are ongoing questions,” Trudeau said. “But even now, we know that we need to do more to ensure that travelers who are coming back from overseas or from the United States as Canadians are properly followed up on, are properly isolated and don’t become further vectors for the spread of COVID-19,"

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for his daily news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for his daily news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

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AP writer Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.

In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, U.S. and Canadian flags fly atop the Peace Arch at Peace Arch Historical State Park on the border with Canada, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo taken Sunday, May 17, 2020, U.S. and Canadian flags fly atop the Peace Arch at Peace Arch Historical State Park on the border with Canada, where people can walk freely between the two countries at an otherwise closed border, in Blaine, Wash. Canada and the U.S. have agreed to extend their agreement to keep the border closed to non-essential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions were announced on March 18, were extended in April and now extended by another 30 days. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.  (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during his daily news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)

Follow the government's latest travel advice if you are planning a trip outside India or travelling back to India from affected areas. You can also read World Health Organization's advice on basic protective measures against the virus. WHO has also busted some myths surrounding coronavirus. The Ministry of Health's special helpline is available at +91-11-23978046 and ncov2019@gmail.com.

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