Canada’s Minister for Public Safety Bill Blair on Friday announced that the U.S.-Canada border will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least October 21 as COVID-19 continues to impact international travel.
“We are extending non-essential travel restrictions with the United States until October 21st, 2020. We will continue to base our decisions on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe,” Blair wrote in a message on Twitter. The U.S. acting secretary of DHS Chad Wolf announced the U.S. was matching the restrictions shortly after.
The news means that non-essential travel between the two countries, which has been shut down since March, won’t be able to restart at least for another month (restrictions were due to expire on Sept. 21).
The expectation, according to a Reuters report citing sources in Washington D.C. and in Ottawa, is that the border will most likely remain closed “until at least the end of November,” though U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said that the U.S. was going to be “opening the borders pretty soon.”
Government and travel restrictions continue to be one of the most significant barriers to booking travel, according to the Third Wave of TMR’s and MMGY’s COVID-19 Sentiment Barometer.
Close to 90% of surveyed advisors told TMR that government advisors and travel restrictions were the biggest barrier, more than health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 (87%) and concerns that the visitor experience will be too affected by closures and/or restrictions (81%).