Canada, US border closure: Here’s what to know

Report: Border travel ban to remain in place through July

Canadian flag (Pixlr)

DETROIT – Non-essential travel between the United States and Canada has been banned since March amid the coronavirus pandemic.

UPDATE June 16, 2020: Canada, US extend border restrictions to July 21

The border crossing ban began March 21 and was extended another 30 days in April. The border is remaining closed to non-essential travel through at least June 21. Travel restrictions still do not apply to healthcare workers, trade and people going to and from work.

Now, there are reports the ban on non-essential travel between the two countries could last until late July.

“What concerns me is will we continue to keep pushing this off and how long can that go?” Cross Border Institute director Bill Anderson said in an interview with CTV News. “When they say we’re going to look at it again in July, I don’t know what they expect to change by July. The virus is still going to be around and the situation that we deal with is going to be around for quite a while.”

There are concerns in Canada that this non-essential travel ban could last until 2021 if they don’t come up with ways for people to safely cross.

Family travel update

According to a report this week from Politico, Canadian border officials will begin admitting immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents from the United States. However, these travelers will be required to observe a 14-day quarantine. That means they would have to stay in Canada for at least 15 days.

Related: NHL’s plan to return faces possible border restriction hurdle

Meanwhile, there is an apparent “loophole” to the non-essential travel ban: CBC News reports U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told them its travel restrictions apply only to Canadians trying to enter the U.S. at land border crossings, which includes travel by car, train, ferry and pleasure boats. That means Canadians trying to visit family across the border can still fly to the U.S.

The country of Canada is nearing 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The country’s daily case count peaked at the beginning of May. The province of Quebec has been the hardest hit, according to the data, with the heavily populated Ontario province right behind.

In the more populated United States, cases are rising at vastly different paces depending on the state. More than 110,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S.

In Detroit, cases peaked in April. The city and the surrounding region was one of the hardest hit in the U.S. in March and April. The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21, seemingly making it easier to complete a renovation of the tunnel.

Related: Michigan COVID-19 cases data