U.S. Extends Travel Restrictions at Canadian Border

The United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel across its land borders with Canada and Mexico until Sept. 21.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Friday that the measures remain in place to “minimize the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant.”

Fully vaccinated Americans have been able to enter Canada for non-essential visits since Aug. 9.

Some Canadians, especially those with loved ones in the U.S., have expressed frustration that they are still unable to drive across the border.

Air travel to the U.S. is allowed with certain conditions, including proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof that the traveler has recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days.

The restrictions on non-essential travel at the U.S. border have been in place since March 2020.

In the days preceding the decision, lobbyists, lawmakers and border mayors implored the Biden administration to ease restrictions on non-essential travel. But officials haven’t budged even as other countries gradually open to Americans.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said agency working groups are looking at how to reopen the borders.

“The interagency working groups are currently developing a policy process, and we will be ready when it is the right time to consider reopening travel. And that’ll be guided, as always, by the science and the public health,” Zients said.

Earlier media accounts suggest the administration will mandate vaccinations for almost all foreign visitors to the U.S., though a final plan had not been determined.

Sources: CNN, NewsNation USA