Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki was directly confronted during her daily briefing Thursday regarding the ongoing ban on non-essential travel to the United States from Canada by road, in effect until at least Oct. 21.
A reporter at the briefing pointed out that while many countries have low vaccination rates, 71 percent of eligible Canadians are fully vaccinated. Canada is also allowing Americans to travel here by road if they are fully vaccinated. Also, in November, people from other countries will be able to travel to the U.S. if fully vaccinated.
"And still the border [to the U.S.] will remain closed," the journalist added. "People can fly from Canada, right?" Psaki interrupted. "Yes, but they can't drive through the border," the reporter said. "It's not a health decision, because if it was... Canada is among the top-15 most vaccinated countries in the world."
Psaki confirmed that land border restrictions have indeed been renewed. "But we're continuing to evaluate and make policy decisions. I would say it is a health decision by requiring vaccinations, and we wanted to do it in a way that was equitable, so people who are vaccinated, no matter which country they are coming from, obviously they need visas and the proper documentation, they would be able to come to the United States through that."
Psaki added that regarding land restrictions from Canada, "I don't have an update for you on where that stands beyond it's been extended and we're continuing to consider additional steps."