Politics

Canada-U.S. border restrictions extended as U.S. congressman pushes for reopening plan

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least May 21. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair tweeted the extension this morning.

Border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least May 21.

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-U.S. border crossing in Windsor, Ont. The border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least May 21. (Rob Gurdebeke/The Canadian Press)

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least May 21.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair tweeted the extension this morning.

"We will continue to base our decisions on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe from COVID-19," he said.

The Canada-U.S. border agreement, which has been in place since March of last year, bars entry to most travellers who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents or people entering from the U.S. for "essential" reasons. Most people who enter the country are required to self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival.

Marking the extension, U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, co-chair of the northern border caucus, urged both governments to craft a plan to reopen the shared border.

"It's 395 days since the United States-Canadian border closed, and the closure was just extended another 30 days. Families on both sides of the border have been torn apart, people who love each other, parents, grandchildren, unable to see each other," the Democratic member from Buffalo, N.Y.  told the House of Representatives today.

"We need a plan to open the U.S.-Canadian border. With vaccines, face masks, and good physical distancing, we can do so safely and successfully."

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