Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support our critical reporting on the coronavirus by purchasing a digital subscription or donating directly to the newsroom
HOULTON, Maine — Residents of Houlton, Fort Kent and other border towns in Aroostook County will have to wait another month before considering traveling across the border into Canada.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Tuesday to extend the border closure between the United States and Canada, which has been in place since March to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Trump administration has also announced plans to extend border restrictions, according to CNN.
The border was originally set to reopen on Thursday. The new agreement will extend the closure for another month, as the United States continues to report around 20,000 new cases each day, while in Canada new daily cases continue to hover around 1,000.
As with the initial closure, essential workers such as healthcare professionals and truck drivers delivering goods are still allowed to cross. Americans with family members in Canada (and vice-versa) as well as people with dual citizenship may be allowed special permission to cross, according to the Canadian Border Services Agency, but will have to quarantine for 14 days upon entry to or return from Canada.
The Canadian province of New Brunswick, on the other side of most of Aroostook County’s border towns, has seen all of its 120 confirmed cases recover, and as of Tuesday has zero active cases, according to data from CBC News.
The province of Quebec, which borders the western side of Maine, has been the epicenter of the outbreak in Canada, with more than 43,000 confirmed cases and more than 3,500 deaths from the virus.
Watch: The risks associated with reopening rural parts of the state