U.S. continues Covid travel restrictions at Canada, Mexico land borders

US Customs officers speaks with people in a car beside a sign saying that the US border is closed at the US-Canada border in Lansdowne, Ontario, on March 22, 2020.

Lars Hagberg | AFP | Getty Images

The U.S. will continue to enforce coronavirus-related restrictions on nonessential travel across U.S. land borders through June 21, the Biden administration announced on Thursday.

“We’re working closely with Canada & Mexico to safely ease restrictions as conditions improve,” the Department of Homeland Security said on Twitter.

Essential trade and travel will still be permitted, the DHS tweeted.

It was unclear from the DHS tweet if the agency anticipated easing those restrictions immediately after June 21, or if it would merely reassess the need for those limits at that time. DHS did not immediately respond to requests for clarification.

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DHS initially put cross-border travel restrictions in place on April 20, 2020, under then-President Donald Trump, more than a month after the World Health Organization declared the virus had grown into a pandemic.

The administration’s decision to keep the restrictions in place for another month was announced amid a decline in Covid infections and deaths in the U.S., which has administered more than 277 million vaccine doses, with 47% of the population having received at least one injection so far.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week changed its guidance on masks, telling Americans that they no longer needed to wear preventive face coverings in most settings once they have been fully vaccinated.

But President Joe Biden and his health officials still warn that the nation has not yet rid itself of the pandemic, especially as highly transmissible Covid variants that are proliferating in other countries show up in the U.S.

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