OTTAWA, ON — Non-essential traffic between the US and Canada has been put on hold once again due to COVID-19.
Travel between the two countries has been shutdown since March because of the pandemic. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says non-essential traffic will remain restricted through November 21.
New procedures were put in place earlier this month by the Canadian government to allow some extended family members, international students, and people with compassionate reasons to cross the border.
Congressman Brian Higgins (D) NY-26, who serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Northern Border Caucus, had this to say about the latest extension:
“This week Canada has extended its ban on Americans crossing the Northern border for the seventh time. It’s heartbreaking to have the door to our closest neighbor closed for eight months but easy to see why Canada continues to make this decision.
“As long as the U.S. President rejects scientific facts, calls medical experts ‘idiots’ and politicizes masks and other common sense health and safety protocols, coronavirus cases will rise, lives will be unnecessarily lost, and Americans will be seen as unwelcome health threat to our allies around the world.
“The Administration’s pandemic response, which lacks a coordinated, comprehensive strategy, is chaotic, irresponsible and embarrassing.
“Nevertheless, the American people have the power to turn this around, to look out for one another and to make sacrifices for the good of our community and the country.”
The border between the U.S. and Canada first closed due to the pandemic on March 24th and has been extended multiple times. The first extension was through May 20, then June 22, July 21, August 21, and September 21. This week the current order set to expire October 21 was extended through November 21.
Higgins has fought for the development of a plan that takes a nuanced approach to reopening the border and has pushed for reciprocal family reunification measures and exemptions for property owners.