In an interview with Canada’s Global Television Network on Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he expects to keep the U.S.-Canada border closed for the foreseeable future, as both countries continue to try and combat COVID-19 spread.
Trudeau said that the “U.S. is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders” and that as cases rise in the U.S. and around the world, “we need to continue to keep border controls in place.”
The previous border order was set to expire Oct. 21, but will now continue indefinitely.
COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in both the U.S. and Canada—in the past two weeks, Canada has reported over 31,000 new cases, while the U.S., on Thursday alone, reported more than 60,000 new cases.
Canada, right now, has a travel advisory for the U.S. that warns its citizens to “avoid non-essential travel” to the U.S. Trudeau said he recognizes that there is a large pent-up demand for travel to warmer climates, but said on Thursday that citizens have to know that there is a risk.
“Ultimately, if someone chooses to travel, we’re not going to keep them imprisoned in Canada,” he said. “Still, people have to recognize they’re putting themselves at risk, putting their loved ones at risk.”
Canada’s warning reads that “the decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.”
The U.S., for its part, has had a Level 3: Reconsider Travel warning for travel to Canada up since Aug. 6, which is the standard warning for most international travel right now.