US, Mexico and Canada agree to extend non-essential travel ban through Sept. 21 amid COVID-19 pandemic

A view of the U.S.-Canada border crossing on April 8, 2020 from Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Elaine Cromie/Getty Images)

The United States, Canada and Mexico agreed to extend limits on non-essential travel at their shared borders through Sept. 21 in an ongoing effort limit the spread of COVID-19.

U.S. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf confirmed the news in a tweet shared Friday.

“We continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of #COVID19. Accordingly, we have agreed to extend the limitation of non-essential travel at our shared land ports of entry through September 21,” Wolf wrote.

The ban, which does not cover trade or travel by air, was first imposed in March and has been extended several times amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases this summer in the U.S., according to Reuters.

The United States leads the world with more than 5.2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and just over 167,000 deaths, according to data compiled Aug. 14 by Johns Hopkins.

Mexico has reported nearly 506,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases — currently ranking seventh in the world for overall cases — and over 55,000 deaths. The total number of confirmed cases in Canada stands at roughly 123,000, according to Aug. 14 data from Johns Hopkins. Just over 9,000 Canadians have died from the virus.

On Aug. 6, the U.S. State Department lifted its Global Level 4 Health Advisory that advised U.S. citizens to avoid international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with that travel advisory lifted, many countries have implemented restrictions that bar Americans from visiting due to the severity of the COVID-19 situation in the United States. 

Airlines have been adjusting their seating and service policies throughout the course of the pandemic in efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, with many now requiring passengers to wear masks. Major hotel chains, including Hilton and Hyatt, also have mask policies in place for guests. 

Justin Sedgwick contributed to this story.