Canada extends US border closure until Nov. 21

‘Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe’

Stock image/ Raymond Boyd (Getty Images)

DETROIT – The U.S.-Canada border will remain closed to non-essential travel for another month.

The current extension of the border crossing restrictions was set to expire Oct. 21, 2020. That has been extended until at least Nov. 21, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair announced Monday.

UPDATE Nov. 19, 2020: Report: Canada extends US border closure until Dec. 21

The restrictions were first announced on March 18 and were extended in April, May, June, July, August, September and now in October.

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.

Trudeau plans to keep it closed amid US COVID spike

In an interview last week on Winnipeg podcast The Start, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said plans to keep the border closed as long as COVID-19 case counts in the U.S. remain high.

“We keep extending the border closures because the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” he said.

The United States has reported 387,692 new COVID-19 cases in the past week while Canada has reported only 198, 148 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Poll: Canadians support border restrictions

A poll conducted online at the end of August by Research Co. found that out of 1,000 Canadians surveyed, 90 percent agreed with the Canada-U.S. border closure to non-essential traffic.

From the pollsters:

"Nine-in-ten Canadians (90%) agree with two regulations that have been in place for weeks: keeping the border with the United States closed to non-essential travel, and placing all travellers arriving to Canada into a mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation period.

Public support is also extremely high (85%) for requiring all customers or visitors entering an indoor premise to wear a mask or face covering while inside. When Research Co. posed this same question to Americans this month, 90% were in favour of this guideline."

Quick facts about the US-Canada border restrictions:

  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents and Registered Indians under the Indian Act continue to enter Canada by right, and are subject to COVID-19 entry screening measures.
  • The CBSA has temporarily suspended or reduced service at certain small vessel reporting sites, small airports of entry, ferry terminals and to the Remote Area Border Crossing program. Travelers should review the list of CBSA locations that remain open during this temporary service suspension.
  • All persons entering Canada, unless exempted – no matter their country of origin or mode of entry - MUST isolate themselves for 14 days if they have symptoms of or confirmed COVID-19 or quarantine themselves for 14 days if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19. Foreign nationals who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter Canada, regardless of their reason for travel.
  • Travelers should consult the respective provincial/territorial websites to ensure that they are aware of the provincial/territorial entry, quarantine and public health requirements and can abide by those requirements.
  • As of March 31, 2020, anyone arriving in Canada in any mode (air, land, marine or rail) must provide their contact information to a border services officer when seeking entry. This information is collected on behalf of Public Health Agency of Canada to support the compliance to, and enforcement of, the 14 day quarantine or isolation requirement outlined in the Order in Council. Travelers are encouraged to download the mobile ArriveCAN App prior to arrival to reduce wait times and limit contact at the border. The App is available on the Apple App and Google Play stores.
  • For the latest on cross-border programs and services, travelers can call the CBSA’s Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999.

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.