Canada-U.S. border to remain closed until at least Feb. 21

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

Restrictions on non-essential travel aim to limit the spread of COVID-19

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 Feb. 21 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Rob Gurdebeke/The Canadian Press)

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

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair today announced the latest extension to international travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Our government will continue to ensure the safety of Canadians against COVID-19 and base our decisions on the best public health advice available," Blair tweeted.

The Canada-U.S. agreement bars entry to most travellers who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents or people entering from the U.S. for "essential" reasons.

It took effect in late March.

Guidelines on discretionary travel

"Our government has been unequivocal since the very beginning of this pandemic that discretionary travel should be avoided under all circumstances. This advice is fundamental to the safety of our communities and to the success of our efforts in the fight against COVID-19," said Blair's spokesperson Mary-Liz Power.

Power said Canada's border measures are among the strongest in the world. As of January 7, people entering Canada are required to present a negative COVID-19 test before boarding flights.

With very limited exemptions, all those entering Canada — no matter what country they're coming from or how they're getting here — are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

Complete details of Canada's border restrictions — including rules on family reunification and international students, as well as compassionate grounds for entry — can be found on the CBSA website.

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