WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce that restrictions for non-essential travel between the U.S. borders in Mexico and Canada will remain in effect through Aug. 21, according to documents to be published in the Federal Register.
The announcement comes several days after Canada announced it will allow fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into Canada on Aug. 9, and those from the rest of the world on Sept. 7.
The U.S. Homeland Security announcement claims that it will extend the travel restrictions at land ports and ferry services until 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 21, 2021, "unless amended or rescinded prior to that time."
Travel restrictions were first put into place in March of 2020 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to help stop the spread. The restrictions have been expanded ever since.
"The [US] Government has informed [Mexico] of its decision to extend the partial closure of the border for another month," the Embassy of Mexico in the U.S. tweeted on Thursday. "[Mexico] will continue the bilateral dialogue while reiterating that the accelerated rate of vaccination against #COVID19 at the border creates conditions for mutual benefit."
"Given the outbreak and continued transmission and spread of COVID-19 within the United States and globally, the Secretary has determined that the risk of continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 between the United States and Canada poses an ongoing 'specific threat to human life or national interests,"' the unpublished notice from Homeland Security states.
Currently, the restrictions do not impact travelers who are flying, taking a freight train or by sea. It only applies to "passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat travel between the United States and Canada," the notice said.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The United States has more than 34 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
As of Monday, the U.S. had more than 609,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 191 million confirmed cases with more than 4.1 million deaths.