Canada, U.S. agree on extension for ban on non-essential travel

(Canada Border Services Agency video screengrab)

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada and the United States have agreed to extend a ban on non-essential travel between the two nations by another 30 days as part of the fight against the coronavirus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

U.S. and Canadian officials had said last week it was likely that the measure would be rolled over until June 21. The ban does not cover trade across a border that stretches 8,891 km.

“This is an important decision that will keep people in both of our countries safe,” Trudeau told a daily briefing. The ban, initially introduced in mid-March, had already been extended in April until May 21.

Trudeau said Canada’s 10 provinces had made it clear they wanted the measures to be rolled over. Washington, he added, had been “very open” to extending the ban.

Canada’s total death toll from the outbreak edged up by less than one per cent to 5,857 from 5,805 on Monday, easily the lowest daily increase since the crisis started, official public health agency data showed.

The situation in parts of the United States is much more challenging. New York state, an epicentre of the outbreak, borders Ontario and Quebec, the two most populous provinces.

— Reporting for Reuters by David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer.

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