Any hope that the vaccine rollout might signal the lifting of US-Canada-Mexico land border restrictions was put to rest as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the extension of North American border closures.
According to a tweet from the DHS, “To protect our citizens and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the United States, Canada, and Mexico are extending the restrictions on non-essential travel at our land borders through March 21. We are also working to ensure essential trade and travel remain open.” The restrictions began on March 18, 2020, and have been renewed on a monthly basis ever since.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a similar message via Twitter on the same day.
Update on our border: To keep you safe and limit the spread of COVID-19, we’ve extended the measures currently in place at the Canada-US border by another 30 days. Non-essential travel between our two countries remains restricted until at least March 21st, 2021.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 20, 2021
New rules about traveling to Canada by land have recently been implemented, Trudeau explained.
“If you’re returning to Canada through our land border, you’ll now have to show a negative PCR test result taken within the 72 hours before your arrival. You’ll then have to immediately quarantine for 14 days. This is not a suggestion — it’s mandatory, and it will be enforced. On top of that, as of Monday [February 22, 2021], you’ll also need to take a PCR test when you arrive at our land border. And toward the end of your 14-day quarantine, you’ll be required to take another one.”
Since January 26, all air passengers entering the US from abroad are required to show the results of their negative for COVID-19 test (whether PCR or antigen) taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
A version of this article was previously published on December 2, 2020, and was updated on February 23, 2021, with more information.