OTTAWA — The U.S. is extending its border restrictions on nonessential travel at land crossings for at least another month.
The move to keep the measures in place until Sept. 21 was announced Friday by the Department of Homeland Security.
“To minimize the spread of #COVID19, 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,” DHS wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Quick background: The Biden administration was expected to extend the public health restrictions, which were put in place in March 2020 to limit the spread of Covd-19.
Reaction: The U.S. decision Friday was quickly met with frustration. For months, families separated from loved ones, business leaders and lawmakers have been upping the pressure on President Joe Biden to loosen border measures or at least provide a detailed plan.
“The failure to make opening the U.S.-Canada border the priority that it should be is a huge mistake. It is beyond disappointing; it is hurtful both at a human and economic level,” Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) wrote on Twitter after the announcement.
In contrast, Canada started welcoming fully vaccinated U.S. visitors Aug. 9. The country has higher vaccination rates than the U.S., though it is dealing with a fourth wave of the pandemic.