August 20, 2021 by Craig Fox

The Department of Homeland Security has extended its ban on nonessential travelers into the United States through Sept. 21.

The decision, announced by Twitter, immediately sparked outrage by many officials, including U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik.

“The cost of President Biden’s inaction is devastating to north country families, businesses, and communities hopeful that the United States would restore travel across the border,” the congresswoman said in a press statement.

“It is shameful that while the Canadian government has opened travel for fully vaccinated American travelers, President Biden would still deny northern border communities access to family, travel, and commerce.”

The border was closed on both sides from March 2020 to Aug. 9, when Canada began allowing vaccinated Americans across the border.

In June, Stefanik introduced the Restoring Northern Border Travel Act, which would require DHS to expand the categories of permitted travel into the U.S. across the U.S.–Canada border.

The legislation would include individuals traveling to visit family members or property in the U.S., attend business meetings or site-visits, or access U.S. airports.

It also would require DHS to begin implementing and submitting to Congress a plan to fully restore nonessential travel into the U.S. at the northern border.

She has met with several members of the Canadian Parliament to discuss strategies to reopen the border and sent letters to each of Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers requesting their partnership and assistance.

She applauded the Canadian government’s announcement that allowed fully vaccinated Americans to travel to Canada that started on Aug. 9.

According to the Homeland Security tweet, the decision not to reopen the border was attributed to minimizing the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant.

The U.S. is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through Sept. 21, while continuing to ensure the flow of essential trade and travel.

“In coordination with public health and medical experts, DHS continues working closely with its partners across the United States and internationally to determine how to safely and sustainably resume normal travel,” according to the tweet.

Read the full article here: