Fully vaccinated travelers from Mexico and Canada can once again travel to the US starting in November. The Canadian and Mexican borders have been closed to non-essential travel visitors for the past 19 months due to Covid.
Fox News reported, “The new rules, to be announced Wednesday, will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the US regardless of the reason for travel starting in early November when a similar easing of restrictions is set to kick in for air travel into the country.” Starting in January, essential travelers like truck drivers will need to be fully vaccinated to enter the US.
In August, the US continued its travel ban, even though Canada allowed fully vaccinated American citizens to enter. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed confusion but acknowledged that every country gets to make its own border rules. On Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, is expected to make the official announcement. The announcement will include amending Title 19 to allow fully vaccinated foreigners with the appropriate paperwork to enter the US by land or ferry ports.
CBS News reported, “Those who can’t provide proof of vaccination will continue to be banned from crossing the land borders if their travel is deemed to be ‘non-essential.’ US citizens, green card holders, and individuals traveling for medical care have been exempted from the non-essential restrictions since they were instituted.”
The US Customs and Border Patrol will accept a paper or digital proof of vaccination. The CDC has not yet advised which vaccines the US will accept.
Travelers traveling by plane to the US will need to be fully vaccinated and show proof of a negative Covid test beginning in November. Those entering the country by rail, vehicle, or ferry will be asked about their vaccination status. It is then up to the officer’s discretion as to whether people will need to show proof in a secondary screening process.
This announcement is welcomed news, as cities have experienced hardships due to families not being able to gather and creating financial burdens for the cities.
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, said, “Our border communities are essentially one community. So this is a fantastic, long-overdue first step, and it will be, I know, very well-received by the community.”
Even with the restrictions easing, Title 42 will continue to be enforced. A DHS official said, “…Migrants are generally held in Border Patrol facilities where social distancing can’t be enforced. They’re not set up for a global pandemic situation. The Title 42 restrictions are really about protecting the migrants themselves, the DHS workforce, and local communities.”