Ottawa (Canada), May 21: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday that the Canada-U.S. border agreement against non-essential travel is extended another month to stem the spread of COVID-19.
"To protect your health and limit the spread of COVID-19, we're extending the measures currently in place by another 30 days. Non-essential travel between our two countries remains restricted until June 21st," the prime minister tweeted.
The agreement, which was reached in March 2020, has been renewed every month after that. Essential workers such as truckers and emergency service providers, as well as vital healthcare workers such as nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border, are exempt from the restrictions.
As of Thursday, Canada reported a cumulative total of 1,347,445 COVID-19 cases, including 25,111 deaths, according to CTV.
While Canada's national-level data show continued declines in disease activity with an average of 5,227 cases reported daily over the latest seven day period, a decrease of 25 percent from the week prior, daily case counts remain very high, the Public Health Agency of Canada said Thursday.
There are growing calls to reopen the Canada-U.S. border as COVID-19 vaccination rates rise in both countries.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce CEO Perrin Beatty said the 14-month closure has created "enormous difficulties" for Canadian businesses, particularly for the tourism sector.
Some 2 billion Canadian dollars worth of trade crossed the Canada-U.S. border every day, and before the COVID-19 lockdown last year, about 300,000 people reportedly crossed the border daily.