US extends land border restrictions with Canada, Mexico again, keeping tourists out

The United States is keeping its land borders closed to tourists for at least another month.

The Department of Homeland Security announced that border restrictions on nonessential travel have been extended yet again, this time through Sept. 21 as the U.S. works to curb its COVID-19 case count. The restrictions had previously been extended through Aug. 21.

"In coordination with public health and medical experts, DHS continues working closely with its partners across the United States and internationally to determine how to safely and sustainably resume normal travel," DHS Tweeted Friday.

The restrictions have been extended every month since they were first implemented in March 2020, when DHS and its Canadian and Mexican counterparts closed the borders to leisure travelers to limit the spread of coronavirus.

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Since then, travel restrictions on the Canadian side of the border have eased, with the country reopening to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents earlier this month. Travelers from the U.S. can fly into Mexico and Canada, although the Canadian government will soon require all air travelers and passengers on interprovincial trains to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

While travel trade groups and world leaders have been pressuring the Biden administration to lift travel restrictions, the United States so far is holding on tight to its travel restrictions despite having one of the highest rates of new COVID-19 cases in the world.

The United States currently accounts for about one-fifth of all new COVID-19 cases across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University data. As of Friday morning, the U.S. had reported more than 3 million COVID-19 cases over the last 28 days, compared to 38,197 cases in Canada and 465,635 cases in Mexico over the same period.

Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and policy for the U.S. Travel Association, condemned the extension in a Friday statement.

“Entry restrictions were urgently needed before effective COVID-19 vaccines were widely available, but these shutdowns carried a steep price," she said, adding that the trade group found that entry restrictions resulted in the loss of more than a million American jobs and $150 billion in export income in 2020.

What else should I know about the travel restrictions?

  • The mandate does not prevent U.S. citizens from returning home.

  • The restriction applies to land and ferry travel.

  • The Department of Homeland Security says it continues to enforce U.S. immigration laws at all U.S. borders, including between ports of entry.

The United States is keeping its borders closed to travelers for the time being.
The United States is keeping its borders closed to travelers for the time being.

Contributing: Eve Chen, USA TODAY. Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: US extends Canada, Mexico border restrictions into September