US-Canada Border Closure Extended
- July 30, 2020
- Madeline S.
Canada and the U.S. have announced their agreement to keep the border between the two countries closed to non-essential travel until August 21.
The ban on non-essential travel first went into place in March and has been extended each month since. The latest extension was set to expire on July 21. The border closure is currently only for non-essential travel, meaning the flow of trade and commerce is exempt. Cross-border trucking companies have been allowed to continue to operate.
Both governments are reportedly on the same page with extending border restrictions, however, some U.S. politicians in border states have been pressuring Canada to begin a phased reopening. Truckers that have been moving freight between Canada and the U.S. are pleased with the border closure extension. Many have been expressing concerns about the situation in the U.S. as case numbers in the country continue to soar.
Truck drivers have been reporting low mask use in the U.S., stating many people are acting as if nothing has changed. This attitude is a big reason why case numbers and hospitalizations in the U.S. have spiked.
By comparison, Canada has been largely successful in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Over the past several weeks case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths have been primarily on the decline.
Cross-border drivers have had a unique insight into seeing COVID-19 play out in both countries. Many are worried that reopening the border too soon could result in a spike in cases in Canada. Canada has already had a number of recent flights from the U.S. report positive cases.
Canadian government officials state they expect the border to stay largely closed for the foreseeable future. "We recognize that the situation continues to be complex in the United States in regards to COVID-19," Trudeau said Monday at a press conference. "Every month, we have been able to extend the border closures to all but essential goods and services and those discussions are ongoing."
While non-essential travel is not expected to resume anytime soon, cross-border freight between the U.S. and Canada has been steadily increasing. Truck traffic between the two countries even reached its pre-COVID-19 pandemic seasonal norm during the first week of July. This signals a broader recovery in both directions, which is great news for the transportation industry.
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