Non-essential travel restrictions between U.S., Mexico and Canada extended through July 21

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A large line of cars on the Paso del Norte Bridge near Downtown El Paso wait to enter the United States. There are only two lanes open for commuter vehicles. (KTSM Photo/Raul Martinez)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The U.S., Mexico and Canada have extended non-essential land travel restrictions through July 21, the Department of Homeland Security announced Sunday on Twitter.

The restrictions apply to those who travel on foot or vehicles, ferries, rail or to coastal ports of entry, as well as immigrants and non-immigrants traveling for purposes that U.S. authorities do not consider essential. Restrictions don’t apply to commercial air or sea travel. U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents (LPR) are allowed to return to the United States during this period.

“To reduce the spread of #COVID19, the United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through July 21, while ensuring access for essential trade & travel,” DHS tweeted Sunday afternoon.

DHS also said the White House is in discussions with Mexico and Canada in hopes of lifting the restrictions in the near future.

“DHS also notes positive developments in recent weeks and is participating with other U.S. agencies in the White House’s expert working groups with Canada and Mexico to identify the conditions under which restrictions may be eased safely and sustainably,” the tweet said.

It’s been over a year since citizens of those countries have been discouraged from crossing the border for recreation and tourism, visit friends or family members or purchase groceries or gasoline readily available in their own countries.

The restrictions first went into effect in March 2020 to minimize cross-border spread of COVID-19.

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