09/18/2020 12:25 EDT

U.S.-Canada Border Closure Extended Until Oct. 21

Non-essential travel has been banned since March due to COVID-19.

Christinne Muschi via Getty Images
A Canadian border agent stands in front of the U.S.-Canada border in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., on Sept. 16.

OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the partial closure of the Canadian border with the United States is being extended another month to Oct. 21.

Crossings of the U.S.-Canada border have been largely restricted to trade goods, essential workers and citizens returning home since March, in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Blair and his American counterpart, acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, each tweeted the latest one-month extension of the closure agreement on Friday morning.

The pandemic has raged in the U.S. throughout the spring and summer, and cases in Canada have recently started rising again, as well.

At the same time, leaders in border communities have asked federal authorities to loosen restrictions slightly to allow people with links on both sides to live more normally.

On Friday, the Conservatives also called for Blair to allow more compassionate exemptions to the closure, such as for people who are engaged to be married or where loved ones are seriously ill.

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

Also on HuffPost: