U.S. Extends Non-Essential Travel Restrictions With Canada, Mexico

By Jason Hall

August 20, 2021

Canada Reopens Border For Vaccinated U.S. Visitors
Photo: Getty Images

The U.S. has extended non-essential travel restrictions at its land borders with neighboring Canada and Mexico through at least September 21.

The Department of Homeland Security announced the extension on Friday (August 20), citing the spread of the delta variant of coronavirus in its decision.

"To minimize the spread of #COVID19, 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 September 21, while continuing to ensure the flow of essential trade and travel," the department tweeted. "In coordination with public health and medical experts, DHS continues working closely with its partners across the United States and internationally to determine how to safely and sustainably resume normal travel."

The U.S. has limited non-essential travel along both borders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with extensions on restrictions being announced on a monthly basis.

Exceptions to the border restrictions include cross-border trade, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and individuals who are traveling across the border for medical purposes or to attend school, among other reasons.

Travel restrictions have been a topic of discussion among lobbyists, lawmakers and border mayors who are advising President Joe Biden's administration to adjust limitations in order to meet a changing landscape.

Last week, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents currently living in the U.S. were allowed into Canada for the first time since the pandemic began.

The announcement comes amid the nationwide spread of the delta variant, which the CDC has referred to as "highly contagious, likely to be more severe."

The delta variant now accounts for nearly 100% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States, CDC data confirmed.

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