Canada-U.S. border closure agreement to extend for another month
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday to extend the agreement on the Canada-U.S. border closure to non-essential travel against the COVID-19 spread another month to Feb. 21, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Trudeau said today's "important decision" was taken to keep citizens on both sides of the cross-border safe as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in both Canada and the United States.
"Our focus since the start of this pandemic has been protecting you and your family. Whether by procuring vaccines or by bringing in strict travel and border measures, our priority is your safety," Trudeau said.
The agreement against the COVID-19 spread between the countries was first imposed last March and has been renewed every month since, with the current extension set to expire on Jan. 21.
The agreement restricts crossing to commercial traffic, those returning to their home country, and other essential travel. It bars anyone from traveling between the two countries for things like tourism or shopping.
Travelers who are allowed into Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days or face serious penalties.
The conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada are worsening. As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been 673,375 COVID-19 cases and 17,186 deaths in Canada, according to CTV.
Tuesday morning, Ontario, the most populous province in Canada, issued a stay-at-home order beginning on Jan. 14 and has immediately declared a second state of emergency.
The new stay-at-home order, which will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, will require everyone to remain at home, with the exception of essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy, accessing health-care services, exercising, or essential work.
The stay-at-home order will remain in effect for at least 28 days. Unless an outing is considered essential, Ontario residents are being ordered to stay home at all hours.
Last Saturday, Quebec, another populous province in the country, imposed a four-week curfew to stem the spread of COVID-19. The people in Quebec will have to stay home between 8 pm and 5 am unless they work in essential businesses. Those who break the curfew rule could be subject to fines of up to 6,000 Canadian dollars (about 4,700 U.S. dollars).