Published on : Friday, June 25, 2021
The United States land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least July 21, the US Homeland Security Department said.
The 30-day extension came after Canada announced its own extension on Friday of the requirements that were set to expire on Monday and have been in place since March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The US government held working-group meetings with Canada and Mexico on the travel restrictions last week and plans to hold meetings about every two weeks.
Homeland Security said in a statement it noted “positive developments in recent weeks and is participating with other US agencies in the White House’s expert working groups with Canada and Mexico to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably.
Some US lawmakers and border communities that have been hit hard by the restrictions have pushed to relax them ahead of the busy summer travel season.
Canada is also under pressure from companies and the tourism industry to ease the ban, which was imposed to help contain the spread of the coronavirus and has been renewed on a monthly basis since March 2020.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood firm, saying last week the border would stay largely shut until 75% of Canadians had received the first of a two-dose coronavirus vaccine and 20% had been given both shots.
In talks between the United States and Canada last week, the US government did not endorse setting a specific threshold to trigger lifting the restrictions, a person briefed on the talks said.