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U.S. keeps ban on nonessential border crossings to slow COVID-19.

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The United States government extended its ban on nonessential travel along the border with Canada and Mexico Friday in hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19, despite growing pressure to lift the ban.

U.S. border communities that are dependent on shoppers from Mexico and Canada and their political representatives have urged the Biden administration to lift the ban. Moreover, Canada recently began allowing fully vaccinated U.S. citizens to enter the country.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a tweet Friday that the restrictions on nonessential travel remain necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19 and the delta variant. It extended the ban until at least September 21.

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DHS said it is working with public health and medical experts to determine how to “safely and sustainably resume normal travel.”

The travel restrictions have been in place since early in the pandemic in March 2020 and repeatedly extended while allowing commercial traffic and essential crossings to continue.

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