The borders will be closed until at least Aug. 21.

By Alison Fox
July 17, 2020
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The closure of the land borders between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico has once again been extended, shutting down non-essential travel between the three countries until at least Aug. 21.

The closure has been in effect since it was announced on March 18 and has since been extended several times, including last month. The closure affects non-essential travel but allows for certain exceptions, including Americans coming back into the country and essential trade.

“Based on the success of the existing restrictions and close collaboration with Mexico and Canada, @DHSgov will continue to limit non-essential travel at our land ports of entry with Canada and Mexico until Aug 20,” Chad Wolf, the acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, said in a tweet. “Close collaboration with our neighbors has allowed us to respond to #COVID19 in a North American approach and slow the travel-related spread of the virus.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the extension was a move “to keep people in both our countries safe.” 

Since the land border was closed, passenger crossings have dropped by 90 percent or more, Reuters reported

A sign indicating travel restrictions at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel as traffic between Canada and the United States.
| Credit: Tara Walton for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The decision also comes as the U.S. has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, causing many states to pull back or pause reopening plans and institute mask mandates. 

Florida banned the “on premises consumption of alcohol at bars” while Texas closed bars and required masks be worn in many public spaces. Arizona also closed bars along with gyms, movie theaters, and waterparks after initially starting to open them in May, and California shut down dine-in restaurants statewide as well as wineries, movie theaters, bars, and breweries.

In total, the U.S. has recorded more than 3.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Mexico has recorded more than 324,000 cases, while Canada has seen over 111,000.

In addition to the border, DHS has postponed the reopening of enrollment centers for trusted traveler programs, including Global Entry. Those are now expected to open in August.