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Travel restrictions extended at U.S. borders due to COVID-19 pandemic

Essential trade and travel will continue and officials say they are working closely with Canada and Mexico to safely ease restrictions as conditions improve.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday morning that the United States will continue restrictions on non-essential travel and land borders through June 21.

The decision is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they say. 

Essential trade and travel will continue, and officials say that they are working closely with Canada and Mexico to safely ease restrictions as conditions improve.

U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins (D, New York 26th District), who has been calling for a plan to reopen the border between the United States and Canada, expressed his disappointment with Thursday's decision.

“It is truly unacceptable at this point to have another 30-day extension with no further exceptions for those vaccinated, no goals or targets outlined to expand crossings, no reciprocal allowances for family reunification, and no plan,” said Higgins, who serves as Co-Chair of the Northern Border Caucus and the Canada-US Interparliamentary Group in a released statement. 

“We have made great strides in fighting the pandemic and we need to make progress on reopening the border. That is essential to both families that have been separated for way too long and to our binational economies.”

Republican Chris Jacobs (NY-27) issued this statement:

“This indefinite closure of the US – Canada border is unacceptable. To continue to do this for over a year without a plan for heartbroken families and anxious homeowners represents a failure of leadership. Vaccines are rolling out; the United States especially has done the work to tame the pandemic and reopen our nation. There is no excuse to willfully continue this uncertainty that has plagued citizens living on both sides of the border. We know how to reopen safely and have proven we are able to do so – the President, the Prime Minister, and respective federal officials need to develop and implement a metric-based, binational plan to reopen the US – Canada Border as soon as possible.”