U.S. Extends Border Closure to Canada, Mexico Through August 21

The United States will maintain its border closure to Canada and Mexico through at least August 21, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) announced on Wednesday.

“To decrease the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, the United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through August 21, while ensuring the continued flow of essential trade and travel,” the D.H.S. said in a tweet.

“DHS is in constant contact with Canadian and Mexican counterparts to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably,” it added.

The announcement comes on the heels of Canada’s own announcement saying it will reopen its border to vaccinated Americans starting August 9. Canada is only accepting the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Others, such as those from China or Russia, will not be accepted. Kids under 12 who are traveling with vaccinated parents or guardians will not have to quarantine. All travelers will need to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination status.

Mexico, on the other hand, reopened to Americans for non-essential travel last summer—one of the first countries to do so amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In the wake of the news, U.S. Travel Association EVP of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said, “Every day that our borders remain closed further delays our industry’s recovery, causing greater damage to the millions of Americans whose livelihoods depend on travel. The continued closure of the Canadian border alone costs the U.S. economy $1.5 billion in potential travel exports each month.

“Given the strong vaccination rates on both sides of the border, it is possible to safely reopen to our No. 1 source market for international visitors. Land travel accounted for more than half of all overnight visits to the U.S. by Canadians pre-pandemic, generating significant travel exports that support vital American jobs.

“Canada made the right call in releasing a timeline for vaccinated Americans to cross the land border and visit, and it is past time that the U.S. reciprocates: There is no difference between a fully vaccinated Canadian and a fully vaccinated American. We urge the Biden Administration to determine a date and a plan as quickly as possible to welcome Canadian visitors at U.S. land borders.”

The United States initially closed its borders to Canada and Mexico in March 2020.

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