Border closures with Canada, Mexico extended through July 21

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending restrictions on nonessential travel between the United States and Mexico and Canada through July 21 in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The restrictions on nonessential travel between the U.S. and Mexico and Canada were set to expire Monday, after the department last month decided to continue the pandemic-era regulations until June 21.

The department, however, said on Monday that it was extending the constraints again to “reduce the spread of #COVID19.”

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“To reduce the spread of #COVID19, the United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through July 21, while ensuring access for essential trade & travel,” the department wrote on Twitter.

The department said there have been “positive developments in recent weeks,” adding that it is working with “other U.S. agencies in the White House’s expert working groups with Canada and Mexico to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably.”

The department’s decision to extend coronavirus-era restrictions on the borders between the U.S. and Mexico and Canada comes after Canada on Friday announced that it was continuing the country’s travel regulations with the U.S.

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Bill Blair, Canadian minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, wrote on Twitter that “in coordination with the U.S., we are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel and with the United States until July 21st, 2021.”

He added, however, that the government is “planning measures” for fully vaccinated individuals in Canada.

The restrictions were first set in place in March 2020, the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and have been extended a number of times.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauBiden administration stokes frustration over Canada The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Schumer moves ahead with likely-to-fail infrastructure vote US extends travel restrictions with Canada, Mexico MORE on Friday recognized the frustrations involved with the closed borders.

“I get it, it’s frustrating to a whole bunch of people that just want to get back to normal,” he said. “But, it’s really important that we have from the very beginning to keep Canadians safe.”

Trudeau has said he wants 75 percent of the Canadian population to be vaccinated with their first dose and at least 20 percent fully inoculated before lifting travel constraints.

As of Monday, 65.8 percent of Canada’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 18.8 percent are fully inoculated, according to the country’s vaccine tracker.