The United States will lift restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, ending historic curbs on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to address the COVID019 pandemic.
According to Reuters, in a statement, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that beginning next month, the administration “will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings.”
The new rules are similar to those announced in September for international air passengers and will be rolled out in phases, with the first phase kicking off in early November. The first phase will allow fully vaccinated visitors traveling for nonessential reasons, like visiting friends or for tourism, to cross US land borders.
The second phase, starting in early January 2022, will apply the vaccination requirement to all inbound foreign travelers, whether traveling for essential or nonessential reasons, according to CNN.
According to the BBC, Canada opened its border to fully vaccinated travelers from the US on August 9, however, Mexico’s border has remained open throughout the whole pandemic.
Additionally, the controversial law which allows the US to swiftly expel undocumented migrants to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in holding facilities will stay in place. The border legislation, known as Title 42, has cut off access to asylum for hundreds of thousands of migrants trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico.
Foreign visitors crossing into the United States by land or ferry will need to be vaccinated but will not necessarily need to show proof of vaccination unless they are referred by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for secondary inspections.
In contrast, all non-U.S. air travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight and will need to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.
Reuters is reporting that one question concerning travelers crossing U.S. land borders has yet to be answered – namely – Will the U.S. accept vaccines from visitors who received doses of two different COVID-19 vaccines?