Canada and U.S. Land Border Closure Extended for Non-essential Travel Another Month

Alison Fox
·2-min read

The land border closure on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States was extended once again this week until at least May 21, according to Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

The closure, which has first implemented in March 2020 and has since been extended on a monthly basis, prohibits non-essential travel like tourism, but still allows for essential services like trade.

"As cases rise and variants of concern continue to emerge across the country, we will continue to do what it takes-for as long as it takes-to keep Canadians safe," Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, tweeted Tuesday.

The extension comes as U.S. lawmakers have urged their neighbors to the north to begin loosening restrictions and introducing vaccines, Reuters reported. But Canada's vaccine rollout hasn't been as robust as America's.

About 30% of Canadians 16 and older have gotten a vaccine, according to CTV News. In the U.S., more than 51% of adults 18 and older have received at least one dose of a vaccine and about 33% have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

US-Canada border
US-Canada border

Tara Walton for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Currently, anyone who does cross into Canada by land is required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, get a second test upon arrival, and quarantine for 14 days before getting another test.

Those flying into the country are also required to test negative for the virus within three days of their flight, get tested upon arrival, and quarantine in a hotel for up to three days.

Officials have extended the mandatory hotel quarantine measures — originally intended to discourage spring break travel — until at least May 21, Reuters noted.

Of those who arrived by air between Feb. 22 and March 25, more than 1,000 tested positive for COVID-19, or about 1.5% of all arrivals, according to Reuters.

"We are continuing to look at more [measures]," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference, according to the wire service. "I have asked our officials to look carefully at, for example, what the UK has done very recently on suspending flights from India."

Beyond just crossing the border, Canada has extended its ban on cruise ships through at least February 2022, which has in turn hindered cruises in Alaska due to a more than 100-year-old law that requires large foreign-flagged ships to stop in Canada first before heading north to the state.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.