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Canada and U.S. Extend Border Restrictions Until Late June

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Canadian border with U.S. likely to remain closed until June 21

Canada and the United States have agreed to extend their agreement to keep border closed to nonessential travel to June 21 during the coronavirus pandemic.

At a news conference earlier, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he has taken to wearing face masks in his daily duties when he can not maintain two metres of separation with other people.

"We know that we need to do more to ensure that travelers who are coming back from overseas or the United States as Canadian are being properly followed up on, are properly isolated and don't become further vectors for the spread of Covid-19", Trudeau said.

Some positive news - the Ontario ministry of long-term care reports that the number of LTC homes battling active outbreaks of the virus is down to 183, from 190 the previous day. She said the tried-and-true public health measures of testing, contact tracing, handwashing and physical distancing have worked to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.

"In situations where I'm either walking through the halls of Parliament or going to my office and coming in proximity to people, I've chosen to start wearing a mask", the prime minister said, noting he would wear a mask entering Parliament on Wednesday afternoon for the House of Commons' in-person sitting.

"Given that airports and border crossings remain a high-risk vector for transmission, and at the same time a crucial part of the infrastructure we need to get our economy moving, we need to do more ... especially as we move towards relaunch".

National Hockey League deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sportsnet on Tuesday that the National Hockey League remains "hopeful" that the border closure will not "materially affect the resumption of play timelines we are now contemplating".

A group that represents small and medium-sized businesses in Canada fears a program to help pay commercial rent will come too late and not be enough to rescue those facing eviction.

The CECRA program, introduced last month by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, aims to lower rent by 75 per cent for businesses facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 for April, May and June.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, for one, has pleaded with "vicious" landlords to be flexible with business tenants during the pandemic.

"That's my personal choice that is aligned, I think, with what public health is recommending, but we all need to adjust to what works in our circumstances and keep safety at the forefront of what we're doing", he added. In one case, a USA man was told travelling to Canada to attend the birth of his son is non-essential. "Who knows exactly what the post-pandemic world will look like?" The restrictions were first announced on March 18 and were extended in April and then again on Tuesday, May 19. "We are not offering companies a bailout".

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