US extends restrictions on non-essential travel to Canada and Mexico through March 21

U.S. Canada border

Trucks enter the U.S. from canada on the Peace Bridge, Tuesday, Sept 22, 2020, in Buffalo N.Y. Pascale Ferrier is expected to appear in federal court today. She is suspected of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin, which was addressed to the White House, has been arrested at the New York-Canada border. Ferrier was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo and is expected to face federal charges. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

The Department of Homeland Security confirmed Friday that it was extending restrictions on non-essential to Canada and Mexico through March 21 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homeland Security defines non-essential travel as “travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.” Essential travel — including travel for trade and business — remains open.

“To protect our citizens and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the United States, Canada, and Mexico are extending the restrictions on non-essential travel at our land borders through March 21,” the department tweeted Friday. “We are also working to ensure essential trade and travel remain open.”

Non-essential travel between the U.S., Canada and Mexico has been restricted since the start of the pandemic last spring and has been extended several times.

Reuters reports that the Biden administration has been holding meetings to discuss tightening travel restrictions at border crossings. The White House has already instituted a policy that requires air passengers to provide a negative COVID-19 test before entering the U.S., but has not adopted similar policies for land crossings.

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