US borders with Canada, Mexico to remain closed to nonessential travel through May

The United States’ land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain restricted to nonessential travel through at least May 21, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

“To deter the spread of #COVID19 and protect our citizens, the United States is continuing restrictions on non-essential travel at our land borders through May 21, while maintaining the flow of essential trade and travel as we have for over a year,” DHS announced via tweet.

The agency continued: “We are guided by science and public health data and engaged in discussions with Canada and Mexico about easing restrictions as health conditions improve.”

To deter the spread of #COVID19 and protect our citizens, the United States is continuing restrictions on non-essential travel at our land borders through May 21, while maintaining the flow of essential trade and travel as we have for over a year.

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DHS and its Canadian and Mexican counterparts enacted the initial closure on March 21, 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread throughout North America. It has been extended on a month-to-month basis since then.

In the intervening year, Canada has tightened its border security, requiring anyone entering by plane or land to be tested in advance for COVID-19 and banning cruise ships from its waters until February 2022. In addition, anyone traveling to Canada from the U.S. must prove that they are doing so for essential reasons and must quarantine upon arrival.

Canada also suspended flights from India and Pakistan starting Thursday. 

By contrast, Americans can still fly into Mexico, one of the few nations in Latin America – and the world – to have instituted few measures to limit travelers, require mandatory testing or order isolation upon arrival.

Passengers bound for Mexico just have to fill out a form asking about their risk factors for COVID-19 and their contact details.

However, as of Jan. 26, Americans returning from any international destinationare required to present a negative COVID test before boarding a flight to the U.S. Many resorts in Mexico have responded by providing on-site testing for their departing guests within the three-day window required by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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