Coronavirus

When will the US border with Canada be open again?

The border between the United States and Canada has been closed since 21 March as a precautionary measure to curtail the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

When will the US border with Canada be open again?
Alex Filipe REUTERS

Canada's efforts to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases have put the country on the cusp of zero deaths from Covid-19 for the first time since March, but officials see worrying signs of a new spike as provinces lift restrictions.

For months, Canadians followed strict public health rules on social movement as the 10 provinces quickly shut down large parts of the economy, ramped up testing and boosted space in intensive care units.

Some provinces curbed internal journeys while Ottawa barred international visitors, closed the land border to non-essential travel with the United States, which has become a global pandemic epicentre, and deployed military staff to hard-hit nursing homes

Quebec has made wearing masks mandatory in indoor public spaces while other Canadian cities have enacted similar by-laws.

Sin tituloFree masks were given to travellers who didn't have one with them at the Lionel Groulx station on July 13, 2020 as face coverings and masks become compulsory in all public transports in the Quebec province in Montreal, Quebec. - Directeur du bureau

U.S. situation

In the U.S., the response has been politicized with Republican President U.S. Donald Trump attacking opponents at the state and city level. Critics also complained the White House did a poor job of helping distribute crucial equipment.

The two nations have banned non-essential land travel since mid-March but pressure is building on Trudeau from Canadian business leaders and U.S. lawmakers to loosen restrictions.

Polls show a large majority of Canadians, and provincial leaders, want the border to remain closed.

This month, at least five incoming flights from cities in Florida, Texas and North Carolina had passengers with confirmed coronavirus cases aboard, according to Canadian government data.

MINNEAPOLIS-POLICE/PROTESTS-TRUMPFILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump turns away and departs as reporters ask questions after the president made an announcement about U.S. trade relations with China and Hong Kong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Border reopening plans

Canadian network CTV maintains that both Canadian and U.S. officials have agreed to keep the border between the two countries closed to non-essential travel until August 21 as an ongoing precautionary measure.

It's been reported that the view to keep border crossings closed is a matter shared by both sides with the latest extension initially due to expire on 21 July.