In early November, the US will eliminate restrictions on fully vaccinated foreign citizens crossing its land borders with Canada and Mexico, putting an end to unprecedented limitations on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that starting next month, "travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 will be able to enter the US for non-essential purposes, such as visiting friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings."
According to US officials on a conference call with reporters earlier this week, the new restrictions are similar but not identical to anticipated measures for international flight travelers unveiled last month.
Senators from border states applauded the decision to relax the exceptional restrictions that have hurt local economies and hindered visits to friends and family for the past 19 months.
"Members of our shared cross-border community have suffered the heartache and economic burden of land border closures from the onset of the pandemic. In a statement, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer stated, "That pain is about to end."
Unvaccinated tourists will still be denied entry to the United States at land borders from Canada or Mexico.
Officials from President Joe Biden's administration emphasized that the White House would not withdraw the "Title 42" order enacted by former President Donald Trump's administration, which effectively blocked hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking refuge from Mexico from requesting asylum.
The exact date in early November when the limitations on both land and air travel would be eased will be announced "very soon," according to one of the officials.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the administration is developing "consistent, stringent protocols for all foreign nationals traveling to the United States — whether by air, land, or ferry."
On August 9, Canada began allowing fully vaccinated US tourists to enter the country for non-essential travel.
Non-essential international visitors crossing US land borders, such as tourists, will be permitted to visit once the US restrictions are eliminated. ACCORDING TO OFFICIALS, the US would compel essential visitors, such as truck drivers and healthcare personnel, to get vaccinated before crossing land borders in early January.
US senators have been urging the White House to ease restrictions that have prevented Canadians from crossing the northern US border for non-essential travel since March 2020, and the blockade has harmed several border communities. Mexico has also lobbied the Biden administration to loosen the limitations.
Senator Maria Cantwell said the news "will bring much relief to those who have been waiting to see friends and loved ones from Canada."
On September 20, the White House said that air travelers from 33 nations, including China, India, Brazil, and most of Europe, who are entirely vaccinated against Covid-19, will travel to the United States beginning in early November. It further stated that the vaccine requirements would be extended to all foreign flight travelers from all other countries.
Foreign tourists entering the United States by land or ferry must be vaccinated. Still, they are not required to produce proof of vaccination until they are referred for secondary inspections by US Customs and Border Patrol.
Non-US air travelers, on the other hand, will be required to produce confirmation of vaccination and a recent negative Covid-19 test before boarding a trip. A current negative Covid-19 test will not be required for foreign tourists crossing a land border.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday that it would accept the use of Covid-19 vaccinations approved by US regulators or the World Health Organization by international travelers.
One unsolved topic is whether immunizations from tourists who received doses of two distinct Covid-19 vaccines would be accepted in the United States.
US citizens have been able to return home despite the land border restrictions.