U.S., Canada, Mexico Border Closure Extended into 2021
The land border closure between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico has been extended until the end of January.
"In order to continue to prevent the spread of COVID, the US, Mexico, & Canada will extend the restrictions on non-essential travel through Jan. 21," Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf tweeted on Friday. "We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to keep essential trade & travel open while also protecting our citizens from the virus."
Acknowledging in a follow-up tweet that the United States has made progress in the fight against COVID-19 with the FDA's authorization of the Pfizer vaccine, Wolf said, "As this administration continues to make great progress on a vaccine for COVID, we will reevaluate non-essential travel restrictions again early in the new year."
The land borders between the three countries have been closed since March 18 and extended each month since. There are exceptions, including for trade as well as Americans returning to the U.S. and Canadians returning to Canada.
In addition, Americans traveling to or from Alaska are also allowed to drive through Canada, according to the Canada Border Services Agency, but have to display a “hang-tag” during their trip and can only pass through certain border crossings. Some, however, have taken advantage of that loophole and been caught.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview with Canadian radio station Global News in October, it could be longer.
“We keep extending the border closures because the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” he added. “We will continue to make sure that Canadian safety is top of mind when we move forward. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place."
But at least one couple figured out a (legal) workaround to the closure earlier this month, holding their wedding along the border in New Brunswick in Canada so both the bride’s and groom’s American and Canadian families could watch from both sides of the St. Croix River.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.