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TORONTO — Canada is extending the agreement to keep the U.S. border closed to nonessential travel to Oct. 21 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said Sept. 18 the government will continue to base the decision on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe.

The restrictions were announced March 18 and have been extended each month since.

Many Canadians fear a reopening. The U.S. has more confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any country in the world.

Canada is seeing an uptick in cases in recent weeks. Canada largest province, Ontario, reported 401 new cases Sept. 18.

Essential cross-border workers such as healthcare professionals, airline crews and truck drivers are still permitted to cross. Truck drivers are critical as they move food and medical goods in both directions. Much of Canada’s food supply comes from or via the U.S.

Americans who are returning to the U.S. and Canadians who are returning to Canada also are exempted from the border closure.

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