The U.S. - Canada border will remain closed to non-essential travel through Aug. 21, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday.

The news comes days after the Canadian government announced it could start allowing vaccinated Americans entry into Canada for non-essential travel on Aug. 9.

"U.S. and Canadian officials have mutually determined that non-essential travel between the United States and Canada currently poses additional risk of transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 and places the populace of both nations at increased risk of contracting the virus associated with COVID-19," the Department of Homeland Security said in a press release. "Moreover, given the sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus, coupled with risks posed by new variants, returning to previous levels of travel between the two nations places the personnel staffing land ports of entry between the United States and Canada, as well as the individuals traveling through these ports of entry, at increased risk of exposure to the virus associated with COVID-19."

In response to the extended closure, Congressman Brian Higgins released the following statement:


“For months now people and businesses along the border have been strung along month after month holding out hope for the border to reopen. Today’s decision by the Biden administration harms economic recovery and hurts families all across America’s northern border; this is completely unnecessary. “While the United States does nothing, loved ones remain separated and communities whose economies rely on the cross-border exchange continue to suffer economically. Continuation of this shutdown is illogical given the success of vaccines and counterproductive putting the United States at a disadvantage given Canada’s decision to welcome back vaccinated Americans effective August 9th.”

​Higgins spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives this week urging the United States to act to reopen the border saying in part, "It is time for the United States to align its Northern Border policy with its science."

Senator Chuck Schumer released the following statement:


"As Canada prepares to further open the border next month, the United States is failing to reciprocate, jeopardizing an already tenuous recovery for thousands of businesses, families, and communities across Upstate New York. It is critical for the United States to level the playing field and create a uniform system, following the science and data, to safely – and finally-- reopen the border for those vaccinated, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that happens as swiftly as possible."

The border has been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020.