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Impacting Travel

Restrictions on the land border of the US, Canada and Mexico were extended

As COVID-19 cases continue to spread across the Americas like a wildfire, a decision has been made to keep the United States’ land borders with Canada and Mexico closed until at least January 21, 2021.

Just today, US and Canadian officials confirmed the extension of the mutual ban on nonessential land border crossings, which was first imposed in March in an effort to stem the spread of the pandemic. Since then, the border closure has been renewed every month, based on reassessments of the current COVID-19 situation.

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Acting Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf wrote on Twitter that the three neighboring nations have extended the ban, “to continue to prevent the spread of COVID.” He continued: “We are working closely with Mexico and Canada to keep essential trade and travel open while protecting our citizens from the virus.”

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair also took to Twitter, explaining that “current restrictions on all non-essential travel between Canada and the US will remain in effect until January 21.” , and assured: “Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe.”

This latest extension means that the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden will ultimately determine when those border restrictions will be lifted. Biden will take office on January 20.

US officials had reportedly previously sought some revisions to the continued closure of the Canadian border, considering that communities near the border on both sides are closely intertwined. But, given the growing and uncontrolled outbreaks of coronavirus in the United States, Canada has shown little interest in loosening restrictions.

In fact, earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation unapologetically: “Until the virus is significantly more under control worldwide, we are not going to release restrictions on border”.

Last week, the US recorded more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases per day for four consecutive days, according to a Reuters tally of official data. On December 2, a record 3,253 deaths were reported in the United States. In all, the United States has so far seen some 15.6 million cases and 292,642 deaths, while Canada has suffered about 442,000 confirmed cases and just over 13,100 deaths.

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