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US to reopen Mexico, Canada land borders for fully vaccinated travellers in Nov

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 13 Oct 2021, 01:56 pm Print

US to reopen Mexico, Canada land borders for fully vaccinated travellers in Nov United States | COVID-19

File image from Unsplash

Washington, DC (JEN): The United States said it will reopen its borders with Mexico and Canada in November for 'fully vaccinated' travellers, ending a 19-month freeze due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, in a statement, said the US will reopen its land and ferry crossing points with the two neighbouring countries to 'nonessential' travel next month.

"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will amend Title 19 regulations to allow non-essential travelers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation to enter the United States via land and ferry ports of entry (POEs) across the US border," the DHS's statement read.

The DHS said unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers will still be banned from entering the US from Mexico and Canada by land, though air travel is allowed with a negative Covid test.

"In alignment with the new international air travel system that will be implemented in November, we will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 to enter the US for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings," Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in the statement.

"Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our broader economy, and we are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner,” Secretary Mayorkas added, lauding the economic benefits of the move.

File image by US Customs and Border Protection via Wikimedia Creative CommonsFile image by US Customs and Border Protection via Wikimedia Creative Commons

The DHS stated travelers from Mexico and Canada will be required to have appropriate paperwork that provides proof of vaccination while entering the US via land and ferry POEs, while all inbound foreign national travelers crossing the US land or ferry POEs– whether for essential or non-essential reasons– have to provide proof of 'full vaccination' against Covid-19 from January, 2022.

"This new travel system will create consistent, stringent protocols for all foreign nationals traveling to the United States– whether by air, land, or ferry– and accounts for the wide availability of COVID-19 vaccinations," the DHS statement read.

The US has curbed 'non-essential' travel from Mexico and Canada via land and ferry POEs since the pandemic broke out in March 2020.

Currently, most non-US citizens who have been to the UK, China, India, South Africa, Iran, Brazil and a number of European countries within the past 14 days are not allowed to enter the US, but the Biden administration announced last month those rules will also be lifted in November.