U.S. Will Reopen Land Borders In November For Fully Vaccinated Visitors

By Siladitya Ray, Forbes Staff

Topline

The U.S. will lift all travel restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated visitors in November, ending a 19-month curb on non-essential travel that had been put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The United States' land borders with Canada and Mexico have remained shut since March 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Getty Images

Key Facts

The new rules will be formally announced by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday and will cover both land and ferry crossings into the country, several outlets reported.

Several U.S. lawmakers and the governments of Canada and Mexico have pressed the Biden administration to lift the restrictions for several months. 

Unvaccinated travelers will continue to be barred from entering the country.

The move to open the land border comes just weeks after the Biden administration lifted a similar ban on air travel, allowing all travelers who are fully vaccinated to enter the country.

However, unlike air travel, visitors entering the U.S. by road, train or ferry will not be required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test as long as they meet the vaccination requirement.

According to the reports, all essential travelers, such as truck drivers, who are seeking to enter the U.S. will also need to be fully vaccinated from January.

Tangent

Administration officials told Reuters that despite ending the land border restrictions the Biden White House will not lift the "Title 42" order put in place by former president Donald Trump’s administration that effectively cut off access to asylum for hundreds of thousands of immigrants seeking entry from Mexico.

Crucial Quote

In a statement shared with the New York Times, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) hailed the decision. “Finally, the New York-Canadian border will be open again to vaccinated travelers from both nations...This reopening will be welcome news to countless businesses, medical providers, families, and loved ones that depend on travel across the northern border.”

Key Background

Last month, the White House announced that it will lift all travel restrictions on fully vaccinated air travelers from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe in early November. Under the new system, all foreign travelers flying into the U.S. will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight along with a recent negative Covid-19 test. Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the U.S. will accept vaccines authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization.

Further Reading

US to reopen land borders in November for fully vaccinated (Associated Press)

The U.S. will open the Canada and Mexico borders for fully vaccinated travelers. (New York Times)

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