Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he agrees with the federal government’s decision to extend the closure of the United States and Canadian border, as both countries continue the fight against COVID-19.

The mutual agreement between the two countries to ban non-essential border crossings has been extended by another 30 days to June 21. The ban prohibits travel like vacations and cross-border shopping, and was set to expire on May 22.

“I want to keep it closed. I made that very clear. We need it closed,” said Premier Doug Ford, after a conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian Premiers.

“That excludes trade back and forth, that’s still moving and critical. But right now, we love our American neighbours, but we need the borders closed, especially for visits. We just can’t risk it.”

“When the time comes, when we get clearance from our chief Medical Officer and our health table, we will open our arms and welcome everyone around the world. But not right now. We cannot chance it.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted that the U.S. is a potential ‘source of vulnerability’ when it comes to people bringing COVID-19 into Canada unknowingly. The U.S. currently has 42 per cent of the world’s COVID-19 cases.

Americans and Canadians have both been mandated to avoid non-essential travel outside of their own countries. The Northwestern Health Unit is also warning against travel within northwestern Ontario.

For more information:
NWHU asks you to not travel within region
Why Americans are in a ‘separate category’ when it comes to border restrictions