TORONTO, ON — The U.S. and Canada are poised to extend their agreement to keep their shared border closed to non-essential travel to Aug. 21, but a final confirmation has not been given, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The agreement would extend the closure by another 30 days. The official was not authorized to speak publicly ahead of an announcement this week, and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The restrictions were announced on March 18 and were extended in April, May and June. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a decision on the border will be announced “in the coming days.”
Congressman Brian Higgins released the following statement reacting to the news:
“It is disappointing but no surprise to see the Northern Border remain closed for another 30 days. With no leadership from President Trump to address the pandemic, cases in the United States are spiking and as a result United States citizens are not welcome in several countries around the globe, including many of our allies.
“The President’s failed management, and frankly complete lack of attention to the science and reality before us, is costing the U.S. more than economic and diplomatic losses. It is costing American lives. The United States has just 4.25% of the world’s population but our citizens, friends, neighbors and family members now represent at 23.6% of the world’s deaths due to COVID.
“While the Northern Border remains closed, the United States and Canada should be developing a plan that lays out what continued, nuanced management of the border during a prolonged pandemic will look like. But the Administration’s failure to develop a national plan for widespread testing, PPE distribution and the rejection of social distancing and mask wearing to slow the spread doesn’t inspire confidence that a such a plan is in the works.”
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