Exit lanes from Point Roberts, Wash., sit empty at the local Canadian border station, which was shut down to all but essential travel during the pandemic.

Exit lanes from Point Roberts, Wash., sit empty at the local Canadian border station, which was shut down to all but essential travel during the pandemic. What qualifies as "essential" is open to interpretation by border agents. (Richard Read/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

WASHINGTON D.C. - On Wednesday, July 21, the United States Department of Homeland Security announced it would be extending the border closures for non-essential travel from Canada and Mexico another month, through at least August 21, 2021. 

While essential travelers and American citizens can cross into the U.S. at any port of entry, the decision restricts non-nationals from entering by land or ferry. Canadian residents are still able to fly into the U.S. for any reason as long as they provide a negative COVID-19 test result.

This decision comes on the heels of Monday's announcement that the Canadian Government would be opening it's borders to fully-vaccinated Americans starting August 9, 2021. 

Canada and the United States agreed to impose the curbs on nonessential travel at their 5,500-mile land border at the pandemic’s onset in March 2020, renewing them in one-month increments since.

On Wednesday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee today issued the following statement regarding expressing his disappointment in the the federal government's decision to continue the U.S.-Canada border closure.

"I am extremely disappointed by the federal government’s announcement today that the U.S. border with Canada will remain closed through at least August 21," said Inslee. "This continued closure will result in continued hardship for Washingtonians living in border communities, including in Point Roberts."

He continued, "As I have expressed repeatedly in communications with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, the time has come to at least partially reopen the U.S.-Canada border, and I will continue to advocate for relief for border communities in Washington state."