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Canada-US border to remain closed until at least May 21

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to all but essential travel until at least May 21, officials announced Tuesday.

Canada’s Safety Minister Bill Blair said the countries agreed the measure was needed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Non-essential travel restrictions with the United States have been extended until May 21, 2021,” Blair said in a tweet. “We will continue to base our decisions on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe from #COVID19.”

The extension of the closure has been announced every month since the border was first closed in March 2020.

Canada remains in the grip of increasing cases of the virus, with the largest province of Ontario hardest hit and residents are under stay-at-home orders with new cases running around 4,000 daily.

“As cases rise and variants of concern continue to emerge across the country, we will continue to do what it takes – for as long as it takes – to keep Canadians safe,” said Blair.

Transports delivering goods that are deemed essential, including food and medical supplies, are exempted from the closure. In 2019, Canada and the US cross border trade was US$612.1 billion

US Homeland Security also tweeted that the border, as well as the one with Mexico, will remain shut.

“To deter the spread of #COVID-19 and protect our citizens, the United States is continuing restrictions on non-essential land borders through May 21, while maintaining the flow of essential trade and travel as we have for over a year,” it said.

The closure was set to expire Wednesday.

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