Canada, U.S., Mexico Border Closure Extended to Feb. 21

Canada border

The land borders between the United States, Canada, and Mexico will remain closed until at least Feb. 21, the latest extension of the closure that has been in place for nearly a year.

"We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to keep essential trade & travel open while also protecting our citizens from the virus," DHS said in a tweet on Tuesday announcing the extension. "DHS is working closely with our counterparts in Mexico and Canada to identify appropriate public health conditions to safely ease restrictions in the future and support U.S. border communities."

The land borders have been closed since March 18, 2020.

While it was not immediately clear when the borders would reopen, the agency said it was assessing risk factors, including public health conditions and U.S. Customs and Border Protection staffing levels.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced the closure in a tweet, adding, "We'll continue to do whatever is necessary to keep Canadians safe."

The decision to extend the land border closures comes as the U.S. announced it would require all international travelers to arrive with a negative COVID-19 test going forward. It also comes weeks after Canada made a similar decision, mandating travelers test negative before entering the country.

While experts have said testing is a step toward reopening international borders, Canada's testing requirement does not exempt travelers from the country's mandatory 14-day quarantine. 

For its part, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends travelers arriving in America get tested again three to five days after arrival and self-quarantine for seven days, even if they have tested negative.

While the border between Canada and the U.S. has remained shut, that hasn't stopped some Canadians from flouting the rules, taking a helicopter down across Niagara Falls, picking up a car, and driving south to warmer destinations.

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.

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