US travel restrictions with Mexico and Canada are set to expire today.
The US first banned non-essential travellers from both countries at the start of the pandemic in 2020, reviewing and adjusting the rules on a monthly basis. The most recent 30-day extension in July came after Canada opened to fully vaccinated American tourists for the first time in 16 months.
Following President Biden’s inauguration, the US and Canada agreed to a road map for a renewed US-Canada relationship in February, agreeing to take on a coordinated approach when considering easing border restrictions. However, the US decision to retain its restrictions prompted pushback from the Canadians, as well as the tourism and aviation sectors.
Expect US travel restrictions to be extended, as concerns surrounding the Delta variant increase. While Canada has higher vaccination rates and lower infection rates than the US, the US has declined to offer any timetable for when the administration might ease travel restrictions, suggesting that Biden’s administration will remain firm. The US decision against reciprocity illustrates how uncoordinated the US-Canadian relationship has become. Yet, given the rising cases in the US, there is no guarantee Canada will remain open to the US either.
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