U.S. to continue restricting visits by Canadians

Even though Canada will start welcoming vaccinated American visitors next month, the U.S. is not matching the action for Canadians.

A document from U.S. Customs and Border Protection indicates the current ban on Canadians entering the U.S. at land border crossings will be extended by another month, to Aug. 21. The ban on non-essential travel began in March 2020 and has been extended each month since then.

Locally, the extension means residents of cities such as Thunder Bay and Fort Frances will still not be able to visit Minnesota to visit friends, shop, or vacation, even though fully-vaccinated Minnesotans will be able to visit Ontario to do the same things starting Aug. 9.

RELATED: Canada to allow entry by vaccinated Americans starting Aug. 9

In the document slated to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas says there is a continued risk of transmission and spread of COVID-19 and that cross-border travel poses an ongoing threat.

The closure of non-essential travel applies to passenger travel by vehicle, railroad, pleasure boats, and passenger ferries, but does not apply to travel by air or sea.

A similar closure at the Mexican border is also being extended.