Canada, U.S. Working on Plans for Increased Border Traffic

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Canada and the U.S. are working on plans to deal with what's being called "an inevitable increase in cross-border traffic" as economies in both countries reopen following shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That's according to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland who says traffic over the shared border is bound to increase as states and provinces reopen shuttered businesses and ease restrictions on personal mobility, even if the current Canada-U.S. ban on non-essential travel remains unchanged.

The agreement has allowed essential workers and trade shipments to continue to move back and forth between the two countries.

The deal was first imposed in March and is set to expire on May 21.

Freeland says talks about when and how to begin easing those restrictions are ongoing, both between Canada and the U.S. and between the federal government and the provinces.

Canada will adhere to the same prudent and sensible approach that has guided it throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Freeland.

And she says the premiers "by and large" share the same cautious view as the federal government.

On Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford made clear he does not want the borders opened soon, saying screening at airports and border crossings will need to increase "tenfold" once restrictions are lifted.

With files from the Canadian Press