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Canada PM Trudeau says border will stay closed until US gets handle on COVID-19

Non-essential travel into Canada has been shut down for months as the nation tries to keep a lid on COVID-19.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the border will remain closed until the U.S. can get a handle on the coronavirus as cases rise again. The Prime Minister is also urging Canadians to think about the health risks if they choose to travel abroad.

“We will continue to make sure that Canadian safety is top of mind when we move forward. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place,” Trudeau said in a radio interview Wednesday.

Non-essential international travel into Canada has been banned since March, but with exceptions for trade. Trudeau said Canadian citizens can still travel outside the country, but wants them to be aware of the risks involved and how it may affect their access to health care when they travel abroad.

"If someone chooses to travel, we're not going to keep them imprisoned in Canada. There is a freedom of movement in this country," Trudeau said. "People have to recognize that they're putting themselves at risk, they're putting their loved ones at risk and they may not have the kinds of supports or health insurance or repatriation flights that we did early on if they choose to leave the country."

According to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, the U.S. has logged more than 50,000 new cases of COVID-19 in four of the past six days. The U.S. had not done that since mid-August.

Canada is seeing a major surge in cases. It had its highest-single day total of new cases Tuesday with more than 4,100, according to Johns Hopkins.

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