OTTAWA, Canada (AFP)— The Canada-US border will remain closed to all non-essential travellers until February 21, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.

“This morning I can confirm that Canada will extend by another 30 days, until February 21, the border measures that are currently in place with the United States,” Trudeau told a news conference.

“This is an important decision, and one that will keep people on both sides of the border safe,” he said.

The border was initially closed in March 2020 to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The closure has been renewed monthly since then. Only trade in goods and merchandise and essential travel are allowed.

The latest extension comes as the two nations grapple with second-wave outbreaks of COVID-19 illnesses, which have so far claimed more than 17,000 lives in Canada and more than 375,000 in the United States.

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