travelpulse– As COVID-19 cases continue to spread across America like wildfire, the decision has been made to keep U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico closed through at least January 21, 2021.
Just today, U.S. and Canadian officials confirmed the extension of the mutual ban on non-essential land border crossings, which was first imposed back in March in an effort to stem the spread of the pandemic. Since then, the border closure has been renewed each month, based upon reassessments of the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Acting U.S. Homeland Security Department Secretary Chad Wolf wrote on Twitter that the three neighboring nations have extended the ban, “In order to continue to prevent the spread of COVID.” He continued, “We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to keep essential trade & travel open while also protecting our citizens from the virus.”
Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair also took to Twitter, explaining, “current restrictions for all non-essential travel between Canada and the U.S. will remain in effect until January 21,” and assuring, “Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe.”
This latest extension means that President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration will ultimately be the one to determine when those border restrictions are lifted. Biden is set to take office on January 20.
U.S. officials had reportedly previously sought some revisions to the continued Canadian border closure, considering that communities close to the border on either side are closely intertwined. But, given America’s increasing and uncontrolled outbreaks of coronavirus, Canada has shown little interest in loosening restrictions.
In fact, earlier this month, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation unapologetically: “Until the virus is significantly more under control everywhere around the world, we’re not going to be releasing the restrictions at the border.”
Last week, the U.S. recorded over 200,000 COVID-19 cases per day for four days running, according to a Reuters tally of official data. On December 2, a record 3,253 U.S. deaths were reported. In total, the U.S. had thus far seen about 15.6 million cases and 292,642 deaths, while Canada has suffered around 442,000 confirmed cases and just over 13,100 deaths.