Customs and Border Protection has announced that travel restrictions on the Northern and Southern borders will be extended until May 21, 2021.

For close to 400 days, admission at the land ports of entry has been limited to “essential” travel. Essential travel generally includes individuals entering for work, but it does not include any sort of tourism and families have been separated during this time.

Representative Brian Higgins (NY -26), co-chair of the Northern Border Caucus, wants to see individuals with family, property, or business interests in Canada exempted from the restrictions and a full reopening of the Northern border by July 2021.

Representative Higgins said: “Families on both sides of the border have been torn apart, people who love each other, parents, grandchildren, unable to see each other …. We need a plan to open the U.S.-Canadian border. With vaccines, face masks and good physical distancing we can do so safely and successfully.” Beyond the essential travel restrictions, testing and quarantine requirements have been imposed as well.

Representative Higgins’ call comes at a time when the Department of State (DOS) is issuing new travel warnings due to “unprecedented” COVID-19 risks in 80 percent of the countries in the world. DOS plans to expand travel advisories and advise U.S. citizens to stay home. The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports the top 10 COVID-19 “hot spots” include India, Brazil, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the United States.