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Canada-U.S. border closure extended to Feb. 21 as coronavirus cases soar: Trudeau

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Canada has not decided on COVID-19 test requirement at land borders, minister says' Coronavirus: Canada has not decided on COVID-19 test requirement at land borders, minister says
WATCH LIVE: Canada has not decided on COVID-19 test requirement at land borders, minister says – Jan 5, 2021

The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed until at least Feb. 21 in an effort to curb rising cases of the novel coronavirus, Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the media, Trudeau said the extension is, “an important decision, and one that will keep people on both sides of the border safe.”

READ MORE: Almost 1,300 people exempted from coronavirus border restrictions, officials said

“I can confirm that Canada will extend by another 30 days – until February 21st – the border measures that are currently in place with the U.S.,” he said. “Our focus since the start of this pandemic has been protecting you and your family.”

The joint restrictions have been in place since March and were mutually agreed upon by both countries. The ban, which does not cover trade or travel by air, has been rolled over several times.

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Click to play video 'Canada’s negative COVID-19 test requirement now in effect' Canada’s negative COVID-19 test requirement now in effect
Canada’s negative COVID-19 test requirement now in effect – Jan 7, 2021

The partial closure restricts crossing to commercial traffic, those returning to their home country, and other essential travel. It bars anyone travelling between the two countries for things like tourism or shopping.

Travellers who are allowed into Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days or else face serious penalties.

The news of the extension comes as Canada is in the process of vaccinating its front lines workers and vulnerable people.

According to the federal government, it has distributed 548,950 of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines across the country.

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