US to reopen land borders in November for fully vaccinated


WASHINGTON: The United States will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the country moves to require all international visitors to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Vehicle, train and ferry travel between the US and Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to essential travel, such as trade, since the early days of the pandemic. The new rules, to be announced Wednesday, will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. Regardless of the reason for travel, beginning in early November, when a similar easing of restrictions for air travel into the country is put in place. . By mid-January, even essential travelers seeking to enter the US, such as truck drivers, will need to be fully vaccinated.
Senior administration officials anticipated the new policy Tuesday night on condition of anonymity to speak before the formal announcement.
Both Mexico and Canada have lobbied the United States for months to ease travel restrictions that have separated families and reduced leisure travel since the onset of the pandemic. The latest measure follows last month’s announcement that the US will end country-based travel bans on air travel and instead require vaccination for foreign nationals who wish to enter by plane.
Both policies will take effect in early November, officials said. They did not specify a particular date.
The new rules only apply to legal entry into the U.S. Officials warned that those seeking to enter illegally will still be subject to removal under so-called Title 42 authority, first invoked by the former president. Donald trump, which has drawn criticism from immigration advocates for swiftly expelling migrants before they can apply for asylum. One of the officials said the United States was continuing the policy because crowded conditions at border patrol facilities pose a threat from Covid-19.
According to officials, travelers entering the US by vehicle, train, and ferry will be asked about their vaccination status as part of the standard US Customs and Border Protection intake process. officials, proof of vaccination of travelers will be verified in a secondary selection process.
Unlike air travel, for which proof of a negative Covid-19 test is required before boarding a flight to enter the US, no evidence will be required to enter the US by land. or sea, as long as the travelers comply with the vaccination requirement.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. will accept travelers who have been fully vaccinated with any of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, not just those used in the US That means the AstraZeneca vaccine, widely used in Canada, will be accepted.
Officials said the CDC was still working to formalize procedures for admitting those who received doses of two different vaccines, as was fairly common in Canada.
The delay in the vaccination requirement for essential cross-border travel is intended to provide truck drivers and others with additional time to receive a vaccine and minimize potential economic disruption to the vaccination mandate, authorities said.
In total, the new procedures move towards a policy based on people’s risk profiles, rather than bans based on less specific countries.
The vaccination requirement for foreigners is presented as White House has moved to impose sweeping vaccination or testing requirements that affect up to 100 million people in the U.S. in an effort to encourage those who resist getting vaccinated.
Tuesday, the US Department of Labor completed the initial draft of an emergency regulation that will require employers of 100 or more workers to require their employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or screened weekly. The Office of Management and Budget is reviewing the order before its implementation.
Mexico has not implemented any Covid-19 entry procedure for travelers. Canada allows entry of fully vaccinated people with proof of vaccination against Covid-19, as well as proof of a negative test performed within 72 hours of entering the country.

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