Canadian border may stay closed if US coronavirus cases don’t go down

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted he would leave Canada’s border closed as long as U.S. coronavirus cases keep rising.

“We have committed to keeping Canadians safe and we keep extending the border closures because the States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” Trudeau said Wednesday morning in an interview with a radio station in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“We will continue to make sure that Canadian safety is top of mind when we move forward. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place,” he added.

The U.S. has more confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any country in the world.

Last month, Canada extended an agreement to keep its U.S. border closed for non-essential travel to Oct. 21. Essential cross-border workers like health care professionals, airline crews and truck drivers are still permitted to cross. 

Truck drivers are critical as they move food and medical goods in both directions. Much of Canada’s food supply comes from or via the U.S.

Americans who are returning to the U.S. and Canadians who are returning to Canada are also exempted from the border closure.

FILE - US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take part in a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on June 20, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Trump administration in August, rescinded its warnings to Americans against all international travel because of the coronavirus pandemic, saying conditions no longer warranted a blanket worldwide alert. 

“With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice in order to give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions,” the State Department said in a statement.

The revised country-specific travel advice is available at https://travel.state.gov. Americans still face travel restrictions across the world because of the largely uncontrolled spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.