US-Canada border closure extension frustrates North Country businesses

Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 4:34 PM EDT
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Canada and the U.S. will extend their agreement to keep their border closed to nonessential travel to July 21.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday's agreement extends the closure by 30 days.

The restrictions were first announced on March 18 and were extended in April and May.

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

The news is frustrating to some businesses and advocates in the North Country.

"What the great disappointment is is that we and many others on both sides of the border have said enough is enough in terms of these simplistic 30-day extensions without any thought or consideration as to how we move forward," said Garry Douglas of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. "Where are the metrics? Where is the game plan for how we may in a phased way given certain levels of performance or events move to add this category or add these categories to essential travel or allow regional travel in some areas? There is no thought or process behind this, that's what we object to."

Douglas says the chamber is now advocating for further discussion between the two countries on how to phase in more cross-border travel.

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