Canada-US border curbs expected to remain till Dec 21

Updated: Nov 19,2020 05:45 GMT

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IANS

Ottawa, Nov 19 (IANS) The incumbent restrictions in place at the Canada-US land border against the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to remain until December 21, according to sources.

The current agreement on the countries' border closure to non-essential travel was first imposed in March to limit the spread of the virus.

The restrictions have been renewed every month since.

The current extension is set to expire on November 21, but the sources told CTV News on Wednesday that the measures are set to be renewed through to December 21.

Tourists and cross-border visits remain prohibited, although trade and commerce are exempted as are certain family members and loved ones who can make a case on compassionate grounds to be allowed into Canada from the US, as well as from other countries, under a series of stipulations.

Regarding the development, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair's office told CTV News that the decision about continuing the closures for another month "will be made in Canada, with the best interest of Canadians as our top priority".

According to new figures from the Canada Border Services Agency, since March the country has admitted approximately 5.3 million travellers, most of them essential workers, who have been exempted from the mandatory 14-day quarantine to control the spread of the virus.

With new Covid-19 continuing to increase on both sides of the border, the agreement extension is not surprising, Xinhua news agency.

Canada faces a worsening situation until a coronavirus vaccine is rolled out widely and needs to "double down" on public health measures, Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told CBC News on Wednesday.

"Right now, the entire planet is in trouble. If you look at almost every country, there are very few exceptions," said Fauci.

"The European Union, if you look at the number of new infections, it's out of sight. The US is out of sight. Canada, which was supposedly doing so well, is also getting into trouble. There's a lot of community spread," Fauci added.

Canada has reported a total of 309,487 Covid-19 cases and 11,164 deaths.

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