OTTAWA, CANADA — The United States and Canada have agreed to extend their ban on non-essential travel between the two nations by another 30 days as part of a plan to contain the coronavirus, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who made the announcement on Tuesday.
Officials from both countries said last week that the measure would likely be rolled over until June 21.
“This is an important decision that will keep people in both of our countries safe,” Trudeau said to reporters.
The ban had already been extended in April until May 21. United States officials were not immediately available for comment.
Bilateral relations between the two countries have steadily improved since reaching an impasse in June 2018, when President Trump accused Trudeau of being weak after a Group of Seven summit. Trump said on Tuesday that Washington should consider terminating trade deals under which it imports cattle as it looks to help domestic producers.
A new trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico will go into effect on July 1. Canada exported $2.75 billion worth of beef in 2019, 74 percent of it to the United States, according to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association lobbying group.
The temporary ban on non-essential travel does not cover trade across a border that stretches 5,525 miles. Canada sends 75 percent of all goods exports to the United States.
Trudeau added that Canada’s 10 provinces had made it clear they wanted the measures to be rolled over. When non-essential travel restarted, Canada would need “to have strong measures in place,” he said, but gave no details.
On Monday, Canada’s death toll attributed to the coronavirus had its lowest daily increase since the crisis started, from 5,805 to 5,857, Reuters reported.
The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel also announced last week that it plans to increase overnight closures to expedite an ongoing $22 million renovation project, according to a report from Mlive.com.