US Customs officers stand beside a sign saying that the US border is closed at the US/Canada border in Lansdowne, Ontario, on March 22, 2020.
LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images
Canada has yet again extended its ban on American tourists, this time until September 21.
An estimated 80% of Canadians want their southern neighbors to be kept out until 2021 at the earliest as the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate in the United States.
Fear of American travelers bringing the coronavirus into Canada has led some citizens to begin reporting cars with foreign license plates to the police or vandalizing them.
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Canada has extended its ban on American tourists at least one more month, Canadain Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced Friday.
The US-Canada border has been closed since March 31, when the two countries banned all nonessential travel between in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and extended several times. The border closure was just one part of Canada’s somewhat successful national effort to shut down the pandemic, while the number of both confirmed cases and deaths has continued to spiral in the United States.
“We’re taking this step to keep people in both our countries safe – because your health and safety is always our top priority,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Treadeu tweeted Friday.
Though the current restrictions are set to expire September 21, a majority of Canadians think the travel ban should last even longer, according to a BBC poll published Thursday. It found that 80% of Canadians want their country to ban American travelers until at least the end of the year.
Some Canadians have even turned into “citizen detectives,” working to catch Americans who have tried to sneak across the closed border, The New York Times’ Karen Schwartz reported. A dual citizen of the United States and Canada, Schwartz was permitted to drive from Colorado to Alberta to visit her father if she submitted to a two-week quarantine upon arrival. Schwartz reported that Canadians now regularly report American visitors to the police and that she received a warning that her car’s Colorado plates might make it a target for vandalism.
“Besides the fear of getting sick, the real stress is parking a vehicle with American plates, and hoping that nobody notices them,” Schwartz wrote of her trip.
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