On Wednesday, the United States announced that land border closures between the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S. and Canada will be extended, barring non-essential travel while officials continue to weigh options.
As reported by USA Today, “U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada will remain closed through Aug. 21, according to documents to be published in the Federal Register. The previous U.S. border restrictions were set to end Thursday.”
“Restrictions on entry into the U.S. by land and ferry travel are extended until 11:59 p.m. Aug. 21, according to the notices,” the outlet added.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the limitations have been extended again in order to limit the COVID-19 spread, which includes the delta variant.
“DHS is in constant contact with Canadian and Mexican counterparts to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably,” DHS said in a statement Wednesday per USA Today by spokesperson Angelo Fernández.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also refused to commit to any timeline for when the Biden administration may plan to loosen restrictions on travel.
As Reuters reported, President Joe Biden was asked on Friday about when the United States would change its European travel restrictions. Biden said he would “be able to answer that question to you within the next several days — what is likely to happen.”
The move comes after Canada announced this week that it would be reopening its border for nonessential travel to fully vaccinated Americans on August 9th with “[o]ther foreign nationals will be permitted to enter beginning September 7,” as reported by The Daily Wire.
“On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favorable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travelers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements,” the Public Health Agency of Canada said in part in a press release.
“The release went on to stipulate that in addition to having received one of the COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Canadian government, any would-be visitors must also ‘provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN (app or web portal) including proof of vaccination prior to arrival in Canada; meet the pre-entry testing requirements; be asymptomatic upon arrival; and have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation in English or French (or certified translation) ready to show a government official on request as evidence,’” per The Daily Wire.
“Regarding Canada’s reopening plan, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday: ‘We are continuing to review our travel restrictions. Any decisions about reopening travel will be guided by our public health and medical experts. We take this incredibly seriously. We look and are guided by our own medical experts. I wouldn’t look at it through a reciprocal intention,'” The Daily Wire noted.
On Wednesday, Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs for the U.S. Travel Association trade group, said in a statement, “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,” Barnes added.
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