Canadians won’t be able to drive into the United States for vacation for another month, American officials say.
A spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told Global News Friday America’s land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico will be closed until at least Sept. 21.
“To minimize the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, the United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through September 21, while continuing to ensure the flow of essential trade and travel,” they wrote.
“In coordination with public health and medical experts, DHS continues working closely with its partners across the United States and internationally to determine how to safely and sustainably resume normal travel.”
The U.S. land border with Canada, which has been closed for non-essential travel since March 2020, was set to lift on Saturday. The U.S. has been dealing with a fourth wave of COVID-19, driven by the Delta variant.
The decision does not impact air travel. Canadian officials allowed fully vaccinated Americans to drive into the country for leisurely reasons earlier this month. Canada is also dealing with a fourth wave.
American travellers who are fully vaccinated don’t have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada, but they’re required to show a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival and will be required to provide proof of vaccination by way of the ArriveCAN smartphone app or web portal.
Canada is set to allow fully vaccinated international travellers on Sept. 7.
In a statement, Congressman Brian Higgins of New York called the border delay “disappointing.”
“The U.S.–Canadian relationship is integral for our economies and life-quality. The failure to make opening the border the priority that it should be is a huge mistake,” he said.
“There has not been enough attention placed on the value and opportunity that comes with restoring connections between our two nations. It is beyond disappointing; it is hurtful both at a human and economic level.”
Businesses in Canada and the U.S., in particular the travel and airline industries, have pushed for the restrictions on non-essential travel between the two countries to end.
– with files from Reuters