11/18/2020 15:40 EST | Updated 11/21/2020 14:43 EST

Canada-U.S. Border To Remain Closed Until Dec. 21, Trudeau Confirms

Canada has also added certain exemptions to reunite extended family members.

OTTAWA — The Canada-U.S. border is set to remain closed well into December.

The border closure has been extended by another 30 days to Dec. 21. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the news Friday on Twitter.

The closure to non-essential travel was set to expire on the same day the extension was confirmed.

Visits such as vacations, day trips and cross-border shopping excursions have been forbidden since March in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The mutual restrictions have been jointly extended on a monthly basis by the two countries ever since they were first imposed.

Trudeau has said the ban won’t be eased until there is clear evidence the COVID-19 pandemic is slowing in the United States, which is it is clearly not. 

The U.S. is setting daily records for new cases and hospitalization rates, and the death toll is tracking toward 250,000. 

The travel ban does not apply to those who must cross to ensure the continued flow of goods and essential services, including truckers and hospital staff. 

Canada has also added certain exemptions to reunite extended family members.

American states and cities are also imposing rigid new restrictions on bars and restaurants as health officials urge caution before the Nov. 26 Thanksgiving holiday.

U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, continues to stonewall his duly elected successor, Joe Biden. 

Biden, who is trying to implement a strategy to battle the virus, says Trump’s refusal to co-operate with his transition team could result in even more U.S. deaths. 

Biden says the two sides need to co-ordinate on a plan to distribute promising new COVID-19 vaccines so they can be deployed as soon as they’re ready. 

With files from HuffPost Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2020.