May 19, 2020 — The U.S. and Canada have agreed to keep the border closed to non-essential traffic through June 21st. The ban was set to expire this week. It was put in place in March as the coronavirus hit communities in both countries hard.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday the decision balances keeping people in both countries safe, while each country begins reopening their economies and restoring a semblance of normality in the wake of the pandemic.
The deal allows trade, commerce, and essential workers to continue to pass through the border while prohibiting discretionary travel.
Many families with relatives on both sides have expressed frustrations at not being able to see their loved ones during this stressful time. And North Country businesses that rely on Canadian tourists have been hit hard.
Trudeau did not close the door to further extensions of the restrictions beyond June, saying his government continues to make adjustments week by week in response to the pandemic.