Canada and Mexico have agreed with the United States to keep their land borders shut until the end of President Donald Trump‘s term in office, citing the rising rate of coronavirus cases.
Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, has announced through a tweet that the travel restrictions would be extended until January 21. Joe Biden is scheduled to take oath as the 59th president of the United States on January 20, 2021.
The borders were closed in March as the virus broke out forcing the government to impose social distancing measures in a bid to contain the pandemic.
Mexico’s Foreign Ministry has endorsed the decision, saying the restrictions are necessary because of continued COVID-19 spread.
The announcement comes days before the United States prepares to vaccinate millions of people against the disease.
The United States does have a soaring rate of coronavirus cases, but the approval of a vaccine as well as antibodies, such as Regeneron, have raised the hopes of taming the virus successfully.
Despite the travel restrictions, US citizens can still travel by air to any country, including Mexico and Canada.
The Canadian government says it will not allow non-essential travel, insisting that every foreigner must prove that they are traveling for an essential purpose.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told the country’s Assembly of First Nations: “It will be a real shame to open things too quickly and see vulnerabilities, so I’m going to be very, very cautious when it comes to keeping Canadians safe, even if there’s lots of pressure to allow international travel again.”