The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said Oct. 19 that U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada will remain closed to all nonessential travel until Nov. 21 as a measure to contain the spread of the CCP virus.
“We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to identify safe criteria to ease the restrictions in the future & support our border communities,” acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said on Twitter.
Land borders were shut in March in response to the outbreak and have been repeatedly extended since then, with the most recent closure extension scheduled to lapse on Oct. 21. The closure doesn’t affect air travel or apply to people providing essential services.
“Supply chains, including trucking, will not be impacted by this new measure. Americans and Canadians also cross the land border every day to do essential work or for other urgent or essential reasons, and that travel will not be impacted,” DHS said on its website.
“The U.S. and Mexican governments further recognize critical services such as food, fuel, healthcare and life-saving medicines must reach people on both sides of the border every day. Essential travel must therefore continue unimpeded during this time.”
Canada’s public safety minister said that the earliest the border will reopen is now Nov. 21.
“We are extending non-essential travel restrictions with the United States until November 21, 2020. Our decisions will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe,” Canadian Emergency Minister Bill Blair said in a tweet on Oct. 19.
The land border closure extension comes as parts of the United States experience surges in CCP virus cases. On Oct. 16, health officials reported more than 70,000 new infections, making it the highest single-day increase in the United States since late July.
According to Worldometers tallies, there are nearly 8.4 million infections and just over 224,000 deaths due to the virus in the United States, over 851,000 cases and 86,000 deaths in Mexico, while Canada has recorded nearly 200,000 infections and just over 9,700 deaths.
“In each of our countries, we are encouraging people to exercise caution by avoiding unnecessary contact with others,” DHS said on its website. “This collaborative and reciprocal measure is an extension of that prudent approach,” the agency said, referring to land border closures.