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U.S.-Canada Border Shutdown Likely to Extend Through November

World Chloe 1weeks ago (09-16) 4Views 0Comments

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U.S.-Canada Border Shutdown Likely to Extend Through November

WASHINGTON/OTTAWA鈥擳he United States and聽Canada聽are likely to extend聽border聽restrictions until at least the end of November as COVID-19 cases spike in some states, according to well-placed Washington and Ottawa sources.

The sources also said Canadian officials were showing little enthusiasm for suggestions from聽U.S. authorities about relaxing some of the measures in the near term.

The month-long ban, which does not cover trade or travel by air, was first imposed in March and has been rolled over several times. The current range of restrictions runs聽out on Sept. 21.

“The thinking is that this is probably going to have to extend through at least until American Thanksgiving (Nov. 26),” said one source, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.

Canadian officials, especially those in provinces聽bordering the United States, insist the restrictions must remain.

Canada聽has no interest right now in opening up the聽border,” said a government source in Ottawa.

In Washington, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said “we believe both the聽U.S. and聽Canada聽are working well together to review potential areas for future off-ramping, when public health conditions permit.”

Sources in both capitals said the聽U.S. side had floated the idea of relaxing the measures to allow for more travel and make it easier for members of families living on both sides of the聽border聽to meet.

“My sense is that the American side is more interested in that than the Canadian government,” said the first source.

The few travellers who are allowed into聽Canada聽have to go into quarantine for 14 days. The restrictions are particularly painful for聽U.S. and Canadian towns along the聽border聽that are tightly intertwined.

Mary-Liz Power, chief spokeswoman for聽Canada‘s Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair, said the two sides had already introduced limited exemptions to allow families to reunite.

“We will continue to evaluate the best public health information available to us to make a decision on when and how to reopen our聽border,” she said.

Statistics聽Canada聽said last week that聽U.S. visits to聽Canada聽by automobile had plummeted by more than 95 percent in August compared to August 2019.聽Canada‘s tourism industry says it faces disaster unless Ottawa steps in to help.

From Reuters

By David Shepardson, Ted Hesson and David Ljunggren

Focus News: U.S.-Canada Border Shutdown Likely to Extend Through November

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