The Canada-U. S. border will remain closed until Jan. 21 of next year in an effort to stop rising cases of the novel coronavirus, the Canada Border Services Agency said Friday.
“The #CBSA would like to remind travellers that discretionary (non-essential) travel restrictions between [the U.S.] and [Canada] have been extended to January 21, 2021,” they said in a tweet.
On their website, the CBSA says this includes travel for vacations, day trips and other “entertainment” purposes.
The joint restrictions have been in place since March and were mutually agreed upon by both countries. They have been extended monthly since they were imposed.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a tweet the country’s “decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe.”
The news comes days after Health Canada approved Pfizer and BioNtech’s COVID-19 vaccine, the first batch of which is expected to be doled out this coming week.
The government health agency said Wednesday the availability of the vaccine would “reduce the spread and severity of COVID-19 disease and reduce its social and economic consequences,” adding that the vaccine is roughly 95 per cent effective and showed no serious safety concerns.
The U.S. approved Pfizer’s vaccine on Friday, with the country’s Food and Drug Administration saying shipments were expected to be delivered next week.
Both countries have been struggling to contain rising numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
On Friday, Canada saw 6,766 new cases the third-highest daily total ever reported by the country bringing Canadian confirmed infections to 448,471.
in Canada, 13,251 people who tested positive for the virus have died.