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U.S. will keep its land border with Canada closed at least another month

The chair of the US Congress Northern Border Caucus says the continued closure is unexplained
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Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Traffic Building at the Canadian border crossing of the Sault Ste. Marie Internal Bridge. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

WASHINGTON, DC — The United States will continue to keep its land border with Canada closed to non-essential travel for at least another month.

White House officials said Monday that restrictions at both the Canadian and Mexican borders will remain in place through Oct. 21.

The revelation was made as the US government announced plans to ease some foreign air travel restrictions, starting in November.

New rules will take the place of a variety of restrictions that bar entry by non-residents who have been in Europe, much of Asia and certain other countries in the previous two weeks. 

Brian Higgins, a congressman from New York who chairs the Northern Border Caucus, called the continued closure of the land border to vaccinated Canadians "completely unnecessary and unexplained."

Higgins said it's welcome news that the White House is making progress on reciprocating international public health measures to protect air travellers, but "it is inexplicable that no announcement on easing travel restrictions at land ports of entry is being made today."

He said the livelihoods of many communities along the border depend on cross-border commerce.

"Canada's unilateral action to allow Americans to cross the border beginning in August demonstrated what we already knew: vaccines were the turning point that make reopening the border possible...The US should be acting today to do the same."

The US and Canada mutually closed their border at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.