Border will remain closed until at least 21 October, but likely until the end of the year
Canada announced that its southern border will remain closed until at least October 21, 2020, in a continuing effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair tweeted that the border will continue to be closed for non-essential travel between Canada and the U.S.
This means that United States citizens can only travel to Canada for an essential reason. Essential travel includes trade shipments through railways and trucks as well as people crossing the border to carry out essential work.
In addition, Canadian citizens and permanent residents in the U.S. and their immediate family members may also cross the border. Immediate family members include spouses, common law partners, children, parents or step-parents.
Non-essential travel to Canada, including for tourism, shopping and entertainment, is still prohibited.
This is now the sixth extension to the border closure between the two countries.
The United States had over 6.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 16 September, more than any other country. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Canada on the other hand had 139,747 confirmed cases.
Even when taking into account the difference in population, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is significantly higher than those in Canada.
Labs across Canada have conducted over 6 million tests, with a rate of 2.1% that are positive. This is according to Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer. This means that over 15% of the Canadian population has been tested.
Dr Tam also issued a statement urging Canadians to follow the recommendations of public health authorities, including physical distancing and avoiding crowded places.
In addition, there has been a surge in the number of daily reported cases across Canada, up to over 900 daily cases, causing concerns for a second wave, and possibly, lockdown.
The U.S. are also taking special immigration measures due to COVID-19.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order that bans new green card holders as well as temporary foreign workers from entering the country, including H1-B visa holders.
According to the president, this move would allow American citizens who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, find employment.
In contrast, Canada continues to process immigration applications and is committed to welcoming immigrants and temporary foreign workers.
For this reason, many individuals who were previously interested in immigrating to the U.S. are turning their attention to Canada. In addition, many temporary foreign workers residing in the U.S. are looking to immigrate to Canada because of their uncertain immigration status. Immigration from the U.S. to Canada continues to increase substantially.
Canada also continues to hold regular Express Entry draws. On Wednesday, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) invited 4,200 immigration candidates to apply for permanent residence in the second ever largest draw.