U.S. Reaffirms Land Border Restrictions with Canada and Mexico

The United States will preserve its land borders with Mexico and Canada closed for all nonessential journey for a minimum of one other month, the Department of Homeland Security mentioned on Wednesday, extending their journey restrictions simply days after Canadian officers introduced they’d quickly reopen to U.S. vacationers.

“To decrease the spread of Covid-19, including the Delta variant, the United States is extending restrictions on nonessential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through August 21,” a spokesman for the division mentioned in an electronic mail. “D.H.S. is in constant contact with Canadian and Mexican counterparts to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably.”

The United States closed land borders with its two neighbors in March 2020 as a approach to restrict the unfold of the coronavirus. D.H.S. has renewed the restrictions each month since, in coordination with Canadian and Mexican authorities.

On Monday, Canadian officers mentioned that American vacationers may enter the nation starting on Aug. 9, assuming they’ve been absolutely inoculated with a vaccine authorized by the Canadian authorities for a minimum of 14 days.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, informed reporters on board Air Force One on Wednesday afternoon that “we rely on the guidance of our health and medical experts, not the actions of other countries” to find out border safety coverage.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada mentioned at a information convention on Tuesday that he thought that it was as much as particular person international locations to determine their very own border restrictions.

“Every country gets to set its own rules about how it will keep its citizens safe,” Mr. Trudeau mentioned.

Nonessential journey restrictions to Canada and Mexico don’t apply to air, freight rail or sea, and touring by land remains to be allowed for a lot of causes, together with enterprise, medical functions and training. All worldwide air vacationers into the United States must current a damaging coronavirus check taken inside three days of departure or proof of restoration from the virus inside 90 days.

Canada made the choice to reopen based mostly on its vaccination progress — greater than three quarters of the nation had acquired a minimum of one dose of the vaccine, in keeping with Canadian governmental knowledge, a far greater proportion than the United States, the place a bit of greater than 56 p.c of the inhabitants has acquired a minimum of one dose, in keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Residents on each side of the border have pressed for reopening, and greater than 2,800 individuals have joined a non-public Facebook group organized by Let Us Reunite, an advocacy group, to press for a extra relaxed border coverage.

One of the group’s members is Heather Kienle, an American citizen who lives in Montreal. Crossing the border has not been an issue for Ms. Kienle, however her Canadian husband, Etienne Bouchard, can’t.

So Ms. Kienle, who’s six months pregnant, usually drives alone or with her four-year-old daughter greater than eight hours to West Babylon, N.Y., to look after her mom, who has endometrial most cancers.

“It was just very stressful because I had to travel by myself, without my husband, and I had to take care of my daughter in the back seat,” Ms. Kienle mentioned on Wednesday.

U.S. politicians from each events have additionally objected to the restrictions.

Brian Higgins, a congressman who represents a district in Western New York that borders Canada, mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday that “today’s decision by the Biden administration harms economic recovery and hurts families all across America’s northern border; this is completely unnecessary.”

Mexican officers had lately expressed hope that the United States would conform to open up their shared border. A vaccination program in northern Mexico was ramped up as nicely. “We are working on this, so that the economic and social activity of the border can be regularized as soon as possible,” Mexico’s overseas minister, Marcelo Ebrard, informed Forbes Mexico this month.

American residents can journey into Mexico for any cause — to purchase cheaper items, entry cheaper well being care or as a result of they stay in Mexico and commute to work within the U.S. — however the border shutdown has meant many companies have misplaced clients and been compelled to shut.

Also on Wednesday, President Biden nominated David L. Cohen, a lobbyist and senior adviser to the chief government at Comcast Corporation, as ambassador to Canada. Mr. Biden has tried to show range by way of the sorts of individuals he’s appointing to high-profile postings overseas, however Mr. Cohen represents the outdated mannequin of rewarding marketing campaign donors with coveted posts overseas.

A Democratic fundraiser, Mr. Cohen hosted Mr. Biden’s first formal presidential occasion at his dwelling in 2019 and helped him increase tons of of 1000’s of dollars. Mr. Cohen was additionally the longtime chair of the board of trustees on the University of Pennsylvania, an establishment that employed Mr. Biden for a profitable college place after the Obama administration.

Annie Karni contributed reporting.