The COVID-19 travel restrictions in place at the Canada-U.S. land border are being extended for another month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday.
Trudeau confirmed that the current border restrictions will now remain in effect until Feb. 21, 2021. He said this "important decision" was taken to keep citizens on both sides of the border safe as COVID-19 cases continue to climb in 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 current agreement on the U.S.-Canada land border closure to non-essential travel was first imposed in March, to limit the spread of the virus. The restrictions have been renewed every month since, with the current extension on border restrictions set to expire Jan. 21.
Under the restrictions, tourists and cross-border visits remain prohibited, although trade and commerce are exempted as are trips by certain family members and loved ones who can make a case on compassionate grounds to be allowed into Canada from the U.S. and other countries, contingent on conditions including mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
To date there have been more than 670,000 COVID-19 cases in Canada, and more than 17,000 people have died, while the U.S. currently has nearly 23 million COVID-19 cases and over 376,000 deaths from the virus.
With files from CTVNews.ca's Rachel Aiello