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US-Canada-Mexico border closures extend to Jan. 21

Freight continues to move freely under existing exemptions

Commercial trucks will continue to be able to move freight across the the U.S. land borders with Mexico and Canada, which remain closed for nonessential travel through Jan 21. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed for nonessential travel until at least late January, officials said on Friday, as the coming arrival of COVID-19 vaccines opened the door for the eventual easing to the unprecedented restrictions. 

The extension was expected as COVID-19 infections surge in all three countries. Trucks will continue to be able to move freight freely across the borders under the terms of the restrictions, in place since March.

The border likely will be closed for nonessential travel well past January. However, the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines means the restrictions could start to ease. 

The closures have hit border communities hard, particularly those that depend on tourism. Businesses have already been pushing to have some restrictions eased.

Large drug seizures from tractor-trailers, meanwhile, have become something of a regular occurrence since the borders closed for nonessential travel. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials recently announced four separate drug seizures involving trucks at South Texas border crossings.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected].