Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to keep the border between Canada and the United States closed as long as the COVID-19 cases remain elevated in the U.S.
“We have committed to keeping Canadians safe and we keep extending the border closures because the States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” he said Wednesday during an interview with a radio station in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Both countries agreed early in March to close the border to non-essential travelers, but the closure has been updated several times since. The deadline is currently set at October 21, but appears likely to be extended again according to Trudeau.
Truck drivers transporting essential goods like food, health-care professionals, and other workers with essential reasons to cross the border have been permitted.
In the past week, 13 states have topped records for new cases, including Alaska, Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota which border Canada.
Trudeau has warned snowbirds of traveling further south, particularly to warmer states like Florida, Arizona, and California.
“I know there’s a lot of people worried about what’s happening south of the border in Florida, Arizona, California and other places where the virus is not under control or less under control than we are here,” he cautioned. “The challenges around the healthcare system being overloaded down there and access to health insurance – making sure you have coverage in case something does happen – are a lot more difficult.”