The land border closure between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico has been extended until at least November and could last even longer as America continues to see increasing COVID-19 cases.
“To continue to limit the spread of COVID, the US, Mexico, & Canada will extend the restrictions on non-essential travel through Nov 21,” Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said in a Tweet on Monday. “We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to identify safe criteria to ease the restrictions in the future & support our border communities.”
Bill Blair, Canada’s public safety minister, said on Twitter all decisions “will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe.”
The land borders between the three countries have been closed since March 18 and extended each month since. There are exceptions, including for trade as well as Americans returning to the U.S. and Canadians returning to Canada.
In addition, Americans traveling to or from Alaska are also allowed to drive through Canada, according to the Canada Border Services Agency, but have to display a “hang-tag” during their trip and can only pass through certain border crossings. Some, however, have taken advantage of that loophole and been caught.
While the land border closure has only been extended another month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview last week, on Canadian radio station Global News, it could be longer.
“The recommendation is to avoid non-essential travel and that’s for people’s own safety. I know there’s a lot of people very worried about what’s happening south of the border in Florida, in Arizona, in California, and other places where the virus is not under control — far less under control than we are here,” he said.
“We keep extending the border closures because the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” he added. “We will continue to make sure that Canadian safety is top of mind when we move forward. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place."
But at least one couple figured out a (legal) workaround to the closure earlier this month, holding their wedding along the border in New Brunswick in Canada so both the bride’s and groom’s American and Canadian families could watch from both sides of the St. Croix River.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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