U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least March 21 to address COVID-19 concerns, the U.S. government said Friday.
The new 30-day extension is the first announced under President Joe Biden and comes as the White House has been holding meetings about potentially tightening requirements for crossing at U.S. land borders in North America, officials said.
This will mark a year since border crossing restrictions have been in effect for one full year because of the pandemic. As of February 15, 2021, all travelers, with some very limited exceptions, arriving in Canada by land, must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken in the United States within 72 hours before arrival. Or they must provide a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival.
As of February 17, Mexico has confirmed 2,208,668 total cases of COVID-19 within its borders since the beginning of the pandemic. Mexican authorities report widespread community transmission, thousands of cases of infection, and increased numbers of patients requiring hospitalization.
The Mexican Ministry of Health publishes daily updates on the number of cases. Thirteen states are designated “red” under the federal stoplight system between February 1 and February 14 (Ciudad de México, Colima, Estado de México, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Puebla, Querétaro and San Luis Potosí). Under red, only essential activities are allowed.
Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.