Border restrictions between the US, Canada and Mexico are being further extended until December 21 to curb the spread of COVID-19, officials have announced.
Current restrictions on non-essential travel between the three countries was due to expire on November 21 but will now remain in place for another month. The US confirmed it had reached agreements with its neighbors this week. Taking to social media, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said: “in order to continue to prevent the spread of COVID, the US, Mexico, & Canada will extend the restrictions on non-essential travel through Dec 21. We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to keep essential trade & travel open while also protecting our citizens from the virus.’
Mexico’s foreign ministry confirmed the decision on Twitter, while Canada’s public safety minister, Bill Blair, added on Thursday, “our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe.”
The three countries closed their land borders to non-essential travel in mid-March and restrictions have been extended every month since. The travel ban maintains the rules as previous extensions, with cross-border travel permitted for those working in essential services and trade, as well as returning citizens.
While the land borders are sealed, Mexico is still permitting US and Canadian tourists by air, with no quarantine rules in place. Canada has a stricter policy: only allowing in air passengers who meet certain criteria, and who undergo a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.
This story was first published on March 18 and updated on November 20, 2020