Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated he plans to keep Canada’s borders closed as long as coronavirus cases remain elevated in the U.S.
“We have committed to keeping Canadians safe and we keep extending the border closures because the States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” the prime minister said Wednesday morning in an interview with a radio station in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“We will continue to make sure that Canadian safety is top of mind when we move forward. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place,” he added.
Trudeau closed Canada’s international borders to non-essential travel in March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Similar restrictions went into effect along the U.S.-Canada border with exemptions for trade.
The U.S. and Canadian governments have renewed the closure on a monthly basis, with non-essential travel currently restricted until Oct. 21.
Facing pressure to ramp up relief efforts for hard-hit airlines and the tourism sector, Trudeau has resisted industry calls to loosen travel restrictions. His government is planning to promote Canada as a safe destination for international travel once the pandemic subsides.