TORONTO -- Ontario premier Doug Ford says he still does not want to see cross-border travel with the U.S. for non-essential purposes due to fear of the second COVID-19 wave.

The premier made the comments at a news conference on Thursday, saying he spoke to an expert about the matter who told him that it would not be wise to reopen the borders to the U.S. and allow international travel.

“He said, ‘you know when the second wave is going to happen when you fully open up and you let people from around the world come back into Canada,’” Premier Ford told reporters. 

“I know it’s inevitable and we got to do it. I just don’t think we are ready right now. You see what’s happening down in the states; you look at Florida, you look at Texas, Arizona, California. I don’t want to be those states. I want to protect the people here in Ontario.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier this month that an agreement with the United States will see the borders between the two countries remain closed to non-essential travellers until July 21.

This is the third time the border agreement has been extended after first being imposed in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Border communities and the tourism industry in Ontario and the rest of Canada have since been calling on the federal government to reopen its U.S. border. 

Ford told reporters Thursday that he’s adamant that he wants the borders to remain closed come July 21.

“I just think we are opening it up too early if the decision is made on July 21. I just don’t think we’re ready for people south of the border,” he said.

“Believe me, I love the Americans, make no mistake about it, but not when their COVID cases are just spiking right now and I’m just not in favour. I got to protect the people of Ontario.”