United States extends restrictions on non-essential travel at Canada-U.S. Border until October 21
BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – The United States has again announced an extension of its restrictions on non-essential travel to the United States from Canada, according to a statement by Congressman Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo).
The restrictions, which were scheduled to expire on September 21, will now remain in effect until October 21.
The Department of Homeland Security says the restrictions do not apply to air, rail or sea travel, but do apply to land ports of entry and ferry terminals along the Canada-U.S. Border. In western New York, this includes the Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge, and Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.
Restrictions do not apply to essential travel. According to DHS, “essential travel” includes, but is not limited to:
- US citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States;
- People traveling for medical purposes (for example, to receive medical treatment in the United States);
- People traveling to attend educational institutions;
- People traveling to work in the United States (for example, people working in the agriculture or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada as part of such work);
- People traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (for example, government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies);
- Persons engaged in lawful cross-border trade (for example, truck drivers supporting the movement of goods between the United States and Canada);
- Persons engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel;
- Members of the United States armed forces, as well as the spouses and children of members of the United States armed forces, returning to the United States; and
- People engaged in military travel or operations.
Canada opened its border to vaccinated Americans, with COVID-19 testing requirements, on August 9.
In a statement, Congressman Higgins said:
The continued closure of the US border to vaccinated Canadians is totally unnecessary and unexplained.
It’s good news that the White House is making progress in reciprocating international public health measures to protect air travelers. Yet it is inexplicable that no announcement on easing travel restrictions at land entry points is made today, as the livelihoods of communities across the northern border depend on cross-border trade. .
Canada’s unilateral action to allow Americans to cross the border starting in August demonstrated what we already knew: vaccines were the turning point that made it possible to reopen the border. This is substantial progress in our struggle to reconnect with our Canadian neighbors, but we must act on the American side. Canada has successfully opened its land crossings and the United States should act today to do the same.