The border closure between the US and Canada has just been extended again until March 21, 2021.
The Canadian border was closed to Americans until March 21
The border between the US and Canada has been closed since March 21, 2020 for non-essential travel. The border closure was consistently extended by one month at a time. Until a few days ago, the border closure was in effect until February 21, 2021, while the closure has now been extended to March 21, 2021.
This marks a full year of closing the border between the two countries, and it is also the first extension of the border closure announced since President Biden took office.
The travel restrictions are intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This prevents most non-essential travel, but selected important travelers and goods are still allowed to cross the border.
There are a few more things to consider:
Canadians can still travel to the United States by air
Coronavirus in the US versus Canada
How do the number of cases in the US and Canada compare? The situation in both countries has improved considerably in the last few weeks.
Comparison of the situation since the beginning of the pandemic:
- In the US there were a total of 28.2 million cases and 500,000 deaths out of a population of 328 million
- There have been a total of 851,000 cases and over 21,700 deaths in Canada among a population of 38 million
There have been 3.8 times as many cases per capita and 2.7 times as many deaths per capita in the United States since the start of the pandemic.
Fortunately, the situation is improving in both countries. Comparison of the seven-day average in both countries:
- In the U.S. there are ~ 67,000 cases per day and 1,994 deaths per day
- Canada has ~ 2,900 cases per day and 59 deaths per day
As you can see, Canada is still doing a lot better, but cases and deaths are dropping drastically in both countries which is fantastic. In the US in particular, we’ve seen a huge drop in cases and it looks like we’re slowly starting to see a corresponding drop in deaths with the expected delay.
The US has seen many more cases and deaths than Canada
For Canada, the point is to restrict movement
Even if the situation in Canada and the US improves, it is very likely that the borders will not reopen in the next few months.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has put significant border restrictions in place in recent weeks, including banning most flights from the Caribbean and Mexico, requiring hotel quarantine for most overseas travelers and at least three coronavirus tests.
It seems clear that the goal is to limit travel as much as possible, even for people traveling from countries with lower infection rates than Canada. For example, even someone coming to Canada from New Zealand would have to go through hotel quarantine, get tested three times and much more.
It is unlikely that the border will reopen anytime soon
The US-Canada border will remain closed until at least March 21, 2021, although it is very likely that the closure will be extended beyond that.
Canadians can still vacation in the US (if they choose) while the opposite is not the case. However, Canadians must undergo a significant testing and quarantine regime to return home from overseas.
With the Canadian government trying to restrict international travel as much as possible, it is likely that the current restrictions will remain in place.
When will the US-Canada border reopen?