Canada requests another 30 days for crossborder travel ban

May 14, 2020

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it is still too early for Canada to confront the challenges that will come with reopening the shared border with the United States.

The prime minister says, with the ban still in effect for another week, he is not ready to announce an extension just yet.

A source familiar with the ongoing discussions between the two countries tells The Canadian Press that Canada has requested another 30-day extension to the current ban on non-essential travel. The source, who is not authorized to share details of the talks publicly, says it will likely be several days before the United States formally agrees to the request to extend the arrangement to June 21.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has made it clear he does not want to allow American visitors for fear of spreading the virus, which is rampant in the states.

Trudeau has said that with regions on both sides of the border slowly returning to life, Canada will need to deploy additional resources to deal with a likely increase in arrivals from America, regardless of the status of the travel ban.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, says Canada will need to proceed with "extreme caution" when the time comes to ease the restrictions, given the severity of the outbreak south of the border.

Canada and the United States negotiated a partial closure of the border in March that has impeded vacationers and crossborder shoppers while allowing essential workers, trade and commerce to continue to move in both directions. That deal, which has already been extended once, is set to expire May 21.