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Canada, US, Mexico Extend Border Blocks07/15 06:34

   The U.S., Canada and Mexico are poised to extend their agreements to keep 
their shared borders closed to non-essential travel to Aug. 21, officials said 
Tuesday

   TORONTO (AP) -- The U.S., Canada and Mexico are poised to extend their 
agreements to keep their shared borders closed to non-essential travel to Aug. 
21, officials said Tuesday

   The agreements would extend the closures by another 30 days. A person 
familiar with the matter said final confirmation of the U.S., Canada agreement 
has yet occurred but is likely. The official was not authorized to speak 
publicly ahead of an announcement this week, and spoke on condition of 
anonymity. The restrictions were announced on March 18 and were extended in 
April, May and June.

   Mexico's Foreign Affairs ministry said via Twitter Tuesday that "after 
reviewing the development of the spread of COVID-19" Mexico had proposed to the 
U.S. government that they extend the restrictions on ground travel at the 
U.S.-Mexico border for 30 more days.

   Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week that a decision on the 
border would be announced later this week.

   "We're going to continue to work hard to keep Canadians safe and to keep our 
economies flowing, and we will have more to say later," Trudeau said.

   Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday that an 
opening between the U.S. and Mexico "wouldn't be prudent right now," given that 
coronavirus cases in "the states of the southern United States, California, New 
Mexico, Arizona and Texas, are on the rise."

   Most Canadians fear a reopening. The U.S. has more confirmed cases and 
deaths from COVID-19 than any country in the world while Canada has flattened 
the epidemic curve.

   "We've done a good job of flattening the curve. We have an average of about 
300 cases per day. In the U.S. they have about 60,000 cases per day," said Dr. 
Howard Njoo, Canada's Deputy Chief Public Health Officer.

   "Canadians have made tremendous sacrifices and we are seeing the fruits of 
our labor. We don't want to waste those efforts by reintroducing the virus in 
Canada," he said.

   Njoo suggested the border could reopen if Canada and the U.S. had a similar 
situation in the number of cases and the ability to contact trace. "They don't 
have a good handle or control," he said. "It will take some time ... It's more 
a matter of several weeks and months, or a month or so as opposed to days."

   Essential cross-border workers like healthcare professionals, airline crews 
and truck drivers are still permitted to cross. Truck drivers are critical as 
they move food and medical goods in both directions. Much of Canada's food 
supply comes from or via the U.S.

   Americans who are returning to the U.S. and Canadians who are returning to 
Canada are exempted from the border closure. Immediate family members of 
Canadians are also allowed entry into Canada, but must quarantine or self 
isolate for 14 days.

 
 
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