U.S. border to stay restricted through at least August 21

Ambassador Bridge, April 5, 2017. Photo by Maureen Revait

Despite a loosening of restrictions by the Canadian government, the United States will keep its border closed to non-essential travellers.

According to an order from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, border travel from Canada to the U.S. will continue to be restricted to essential and commercial traffic through at least midnight on August 21.

The order had been in place at the border since March 2020, but it is subject to renewal every month after public health officials examine current trends and case rates regarding COVID-19.

“Given the sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus, coupled with risks posed by new variants, returning to previous levels of travel between the two nations places the personnel staffing land ports of entry between the United States and Canada, as well as the individuals travelling through these ports of entry, at increased risk of exposure to the virus associated with COVID-19,” read the order.

The Canadian government has not yet commented on the extension of border restrictions. However, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) agents will begin allowing Americans to enter Canada on Monday, August 9, for non-essential purposes such as tourism.

Fully-vaccinated travellers may enter Canada with proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test, plus proof of two vaccinations, either printed or through the ArriveCAN app. Vaccinated Americans will no longer have to quarantine in hotels if requirements are met. The Canadian government will also scratch quarantines in pre-approved hotels for international travellers who fly in.

The U.S. government’s complete order can be foundĀ on the U.S. Federal Register.