United States extends border restrictions for Canada, Mexico to Sept. 21 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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United States extends border restrictions for Canada, Mexico to Sept. 21

FILE PHOTO - Canadian border guards are silhouetted as they replace each other at an inspection booth at the Douglas border crossing on the Canada-USA border in Surrey, B.C., August 20, 2009.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
August 20, 2021 - 6:00 PM

OTTAWA - The United States extended its restrictions on non-essential travel at land and ferry border crossings yet again on Friday, the first such extension since Canada welcomed vaccinated Americans back into the country earlier in the month.

The U.S. borders will remain closed to most travellers until at least Sept. 21, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a tweet.

"To minimize the spread of (COVID-19), including the Delta variant, the United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico ... while continuing to ensure the flow of essential trade and travel," it reads.

The restrictions, which have been in place since March 2020, were set to expire Saturday.

The U.S. does, however, allow Canadians to fly across the border for non-essential purposes.

The 17-month long ban on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border was eased by the Canadian government on Aug. 9.

Canada currently allows U.S. citizens and permanent residents into the country, provided they've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Eligible visitors to Canada must live in the U.S. and have allowed 14 days to pass since receiving a full course of a Health Canada-approved vaccine.

They are also required to show proof of a negative molecular test for COVID-19 that's no more than 72 hours old and use the ArriveCAN app or online web portal to upload their vaccination details.

The lopsided policy has rankled observers on both sides of the border.

"This creates confusion for travellers when all our members repeatedly tell us they are seeking predictability. This also distracts from the efforts that should be put into developing interoperable digital health credentials," said Mark Agnew, senior vice-president of policy with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

New York Rep. Brian Higgins, meanwhile, has said the restriction "harms separated families and hurts opportunities for economic recovery."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 20, 2021.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2021
The Canadian Press

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