Manitobans looking to take a short road trip into the United States are going to have to wait a little longer.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed on Tuesday that the United States has agreed to extend the mutual ban on non-essential border crossings for another 30 days.
The ban, which prohibits discretionary travel like vacations and cross-border shopping without restricting trade, commerce and essential employees, was set to expire Thursday until the U.S. agreed to Canada’s request to extend it to June 21.
What happens then remains an open question, but one the federal government is already thinking about, says Trudeau, who described the U.S. as a “source of vulnerability” when it comes to the risk of importing cases of COVID-19.
“We’ve given ourselves another month before we have to have the right answers to those questions on non-essential travel,” he says.
“Even now, we know that we need to do more to ensure that travellers who are coming back from overseas or from the United States, as Canadians, are properly followed up on, are properly isolated and don’t become further vectors for the spread of COVID-19.”
“We’re working closely with the provinces to ensure that arrival of people into Canada — even now, but certainly once we get to a point where non-essential travel picks up again in the coming months, I guess — we need to have strong measures in place.”
The U.S. has more than 1.5 million active cases of COVID-19, 42 per cent of the world’s active caseload, and a death toll that crossed the 90,000 threshold over the weekend, worsening at a rate of more than 1,000 fatalities a day.