Canada and U.S. agree to keep border closed until May 20

Mohanad Moetaz
Published: April 20, 2020

After reaching a mutual deal to close their borders a month ago, Canada and the U.S. are now extending the closure another 30 days, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Saturday.

The deal was set to expire on April 20. However, this extension will see the border closed until May 20. 

Once again, essential trade will continue. Truck and rail traffic will still be allowed to cross the border to keep the flow of food, fuel and medicines available to both countries. 

All non-essential travel, however, such as for shopping or to visit family, will remain barred.

In addition, foreign nationals in Canada can no longer apply for a temporary visa by flagpoling. This includes work permits, study permits and visitor visas. 

You may still be able to apply for and renew your temporary visas without flagpoling, provided you are able to perfectly demonstrate in your application why you should be allowed to stay in Canada. This is because you will no longer have the luxury of explaining the particulars of your application.

The travel restrictions also apply to asylum seekers attempting to cross the border by foot at unofficial border crossings, such as at Roxham Road.

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The border closure with the U.S. and the rest of the world has helped in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau has suggested.

U.S. President Donald Trump has claimed that the first travel restrictions he would like to lift are those with Canada. Trump has also claimed that he views Canada in a different light than other countries and that he was in talks with the Canadian border.

It is worth noting that the Canada-U.S. border was first closed by mutual agreement, whereas other U.S. travel restrictions, such as with the European Union and China, were imposed unilaterally.

Both the U.S. and Canada have been forced to continue containment measures amid the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Canada has seen over 35,000 cases of coronavirus, mostly in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, with over 1,500 deaths.

The U.S., which has a population roughly nine times that of Canada, has seen over 720,000 cases with over 35,000 deaths.

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