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U.S.- Canada Border Closure to Remain into Fall

  • October 02, 2020
  • Madeline S.

The U.S.-Canada border closure, which was set to expire on September 21, has officially been extended until October 21. The border has been closed to non-essential travel since March to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Since then, the closure has been routinely extended as case numbers in the U.S. continue to rise.


U.S. acting Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf made the announcement on Twitter. “We continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of #COVID19. Accordingly, we have agreed to extend the limitation of non-essential travel at our shared land ports of entry through October 21,” he tweeted.


There has been some pressure from U.S. politicians to reopen the border, but both governments seem on board with extending the closure. Cross-border commerce and trade are still allowed, meaning truck drivers are able to continue working. Truck drivers are exempt from the 14-day post-travel quarantine. However, Canadian Border Services has now started collecting personal information from drivers to aid tracing efforts.


Officials say that the closure will likely extend into November, though. Case numbers in the U.S. are still high, and the number of cases in Canada is now starting to rise as well. Experts are stating that the border closure will likely last until after American Thanksgiving.


Truck drivers have had the unique perspective of seeing both countries handle the virus. Canadian drivers have urged the government to keep the border closed, citing low mask use and high case numbers in the U.S. as concerns.


Despite the ban on non-essential travel and tighter travel restrictions overall, the transportation industry is doing well. The number of truck arrivals entering Canada rose by 7% during the week of Aug 31-Sept 6 compared to last year.


The transportation industry faced a number of hurdles this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry has been recovering nicely, though, and the upcoming peak holiday shipping season is expected to be the busiest one yet.


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