Sources told CTV News that the two countries agreed to extend the border closure for another 30 days amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news briefing Thursday there is still a “significant amount of time” before restrictions can be lifted for non-essential between the two countries’ borders.
“I think there was a recognition by the President that I’ve highlighted many times that the closeness, the collaboration, friendship between Canada and the United States is quite unlike any other – and therefore, the work that we continue to do to keep our citizens safe while coordinating very carefully is unlike our approaches with other countries around the world,” Trudeau said.
“We know there is a significant amount of time still before we can talk about loosening such restrictions,” he added.
Right now, borders remain open for essential workers and trade – but are closed to other non-essential travel.
The reports of the extended border closure follows after Donald Trump said yesterday that U.S. states could begin re-opening today, as 95 percent of the nation has been under lockdown.
Trump noted as many as 29 states could re-open soon.
“A number of governors are in very good shape,” Trump said at a press conference.
He cautioned, however, that the country will need to “open safely” to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 cases.
Trump has previously given back-and-forth remarks on who would call the shots on when states reopen.
He first tried to call “total authority”, then switched to saying he would approve governors and have the final say.
Thursday, he said ultimately the decision comes down to when governors “believe it is time to reopen.”
“We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time,” he said.
Experts have warned the U.S. could see a spike in cases if social distancing guidelines are lifted too early.
A new model from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology warned of a potential “explosion” of cases if social distancing is ended too soon.
The first step of the government’s outlined re-opening plan would allow states to open some places, like restaurants and churches – while people telework and vulnerable populations remain at home.
In the second step – which could begin after another two-week decline in COVID-19 cases – schools and some venues could begin to reopen with social distancing measures in place.
The third step would allow people to go back to work, and larger venues to open with some social distancing– if states do not show an increase in COVID-19 cases.
While some states have seen far less cases than others, questions remain over how domestic travel should be handled, as the 18-page document outlining the re-opening of the U.S. did not include any guidance.
Already across the nation, officials have begun to crack down on people traveling across state lines – including stopping vehicles or mandating self-isolation for two weeks.
Coastal areas of the U.S. have been more heavily impacted by the virus than many across middle America, sparking worry in some over what may happen as some states begin to ease up on their travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders over coming weeks.
“We have to continue doing what we’re doing. I’d like to see that infection rate get down even more,” Cuomo told reporters on Thursday.
He added that after that, officials will evaluate data to determine if the lockdown needs to be extended, or if restrictions could begin to be lifted.