In an effort to stem the spread of Covid-19, travel between the United States, Canada and Mexico will remain heavily restricted for the rest of President Donald Trump’s term, with the three countries agreeing Friday to extend a nine-month-long ban on nonessential land travel.
The three countries will restrict nonessential travel across their land borders until at least Jan. 21, the day after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, extending a policy set to expire this month, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf tweeted Friday.
Under this policy, people are barred from crossing between the United States and Canada or Mexico for tourism or recreational purposes, though “essential” travel like cross-border trade and commuting are still allowed.
In March, the United States, Canada and Mexico agreed to halt cross-border travel for one month, a decision motivated by the then-looming threat of Covid-19. Since then, officials in the three countries have extended this prohibition nine times, part of a wider set of restrictions on global travel. The United States and Mexico have grappled with the first- and fourth-deadliest coronavirus outbreaks in the world, respectively, and cases and deaths are still climbing to grim new heights in the United States and sitting at a fairly high level in Mexico. Canada, by comparison, halted the spread of the virus over the summer, but cases have ticked up in recent weeks, forcing officials to reimpose lockdowns in some parts of the country.
What To Watch For
Wolf said the United States will assess whether to extend or relax these travel rules early next year. But Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in October that Canada will keep restricting travel across its land borders until the United States manages to control the spread of Covid-19, and experts expect U.S. deaths to remain high for months.