US to extend restrictions on travel across Canada, Mexico borders
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Thursday that the U.S. will be extending its coronavirus-era restrictions on nonessential travel across the Canadian and Mexican borders through June.
Canadian news outlet CTV News had reported Tuesday that the limits on travel into Canada would continue though June. DHS confirmed in a tweet Thursday that the restrictions would also apply to the U.S. land border with Mexico.
“To fight #COVID19 spread and protect our citizens, the U.S. is continuing restrictions on non-essential travel at land borders through June 21, while allowing essential trade & travel,” DHS tweeted.
The agency added that it was “working closely with Canada & Mexico to safely ease restrictions as conditions improve.”
To fight #COVID19 spread and protect our citizens, the U.S. is continuing restrictions on non-essential travel at land borders through June 21, while allowing essential trade & travel. We’re working closely with Canada & Mexico to safely ease restrictions as conditions improve.
— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) May 20, 2021
The limits on land travel amid the pandemic were first imposed in March 2020, and have repeatedly been extended each month as the virus continued to spread.
DHS had last announced an extension on April 20, when the agency said it would only allow specific essential trade and travel across the borders through May 21.
Officials have signaled that the limits on travel will likely remain in place until more people have been vaccinated, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying Tuesday that its border with the U.S. would not likely be reopened until at least 75 percent of the Canadian population has been vaccinated.
As of Thursday, nearly 48 percent of Canadians had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Canadian government’s vaccine tracker.
In the U.S., about 60.2 percent of adults have gotten at least one dose, with nearly 48 percent fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Out of the total U.S. population, 48 percent have gotten at least one dose, with roughly 38 percent fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Mexico has had a relatively slower rate of vaccine distribution, with just 13 percent of its population having received at least one shot, and roughly 9 percent fully vaccinated, according to the New York Times vaccination database.