The United States government has extended the closure of the land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel until August 21.
According to Reuters.com, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the latest 30-day extension just days after Canada revealed it would welcome fully vaccinated U.S. visitors on August 9 for non-essential travel.
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DHS said the agency is “in constant contact with its Canadian and Mexican counterparts to identify conditions under which restrictions can be relaxed in a safe and lasting manner.” The United States has continued to extend restrictions to Canada and Mexico on a monthly basis since March 2020.
Reuters reports that President Joe Biden’s administration has scheduled a series of high-level meetings this week to discuss travel restrictions and the possibility of making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for visitors.
The United States continues to allow Canadians and Mexicans to arrive by air, but they are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before entry.
US Travel Association executive vice president of public affairs and policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued a statement on the extension of border restrictions by the United States:
“Each day that our borders remain closed further delays the recovery of our industry, causing greater damage to the millions of Americans whose livelihoods depend on travel. The continued closure of the Canadian border alone costs the US economy $ 1.5 billion in potential travel exports each month.
“Given the high vaccination rates on both sides of the border, it is possible to reopen safely in our No.1 source market for international visitors. Overland travel accounted for more than half of all overnight visits to the United States by Canadians before the pandemic, generating significant travel exports that support vital American jobs.
“Canada made the right choice in issuing a schedule for vaccinated Americans to cross the land border and surrender, and it is high time the United States returned the favor: there is no difference between a fully Canadian vaccinated and a fully vaccinated American. We urge the Biden administration to determine a date and plan as quickly as possible to welcome Canadian visitors at the US land borders. “