As of next November, land traffic between the United States, Canada and Mexico will flow again, a passage frozen for 19 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The US authorities announced that entry will be allowed to fully vaccinated foreign nationals, regardless of the reason for the trip. A similar easing is planned for the same month on international air routes.
19 months of unprecedented restrictions on ground transportation between the United States, Canada and Mexico end. A measure to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, but which caused profound damage to local economies and prevented visits between friends and family on both sides of the borders.
The Secretary of Homeland Security of the United States, Alejandro Mayorkas, confirmed that the bans will be lifted in early November, although for this the people who want to enter must be fully vaccinated.
Lawmakers from the border states of the United States praised the measure. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, members of our shared cross-border community have felt the pain and economic hardships of land border closures. That pain is about to end,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.
For months, both Mexico and Canada have lobbied the Joe Biden government to ease restrictions. However, the ban remains for visitors who are not immunized.
The measures will also apply to maritime entries by ferry.
The Biden administration says the US will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic. International visitors will need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. https://t.co/3utpIXZJUr
– The Associated Press (@AP) October 13, 2021
A similar easing was announced last month for international air travel to the United States.
Also from November, the authorities will request a complete inoculation pattern test for those who come from foreign flights and will lift the entry restrictions from the countries of the European Union, Brazil and China.
Although Washington has reported that the restrictions will end as of November, the exact date is still unknown and indicates that it will announce it “very soon.”
“This phased approach will provide enough time for essential travelers to get vaccinated, allowing a smooth transition to this new system,” said a senior White House official, quoted by EFE.
In the case of essential visitors, such as truck drivers or health workers, the United States will require from next January that they are vaccinated to cross the borders.
The Department of Homeland Security indicated that the Administration is creating “consistent and strict protocols for all foreign nationals who travel to the United States, whether by air, land or ferry.”
Among the procedures to be formalized are the cases of those who received doses of two different vaccines, something common in Canada.
What vaccines will be accepted in the US?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained that the US will accept travelers who have been fully inoculated with any of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization. Not only those that are used in the United States.
That means the AstraZeneca vaccine, widely used in Canada, will also be accepted.
The CDC said last week that all vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) would be accepted for entry by air, the official pointed out. https://t.co/vw1m5Y0OuO
– Gulf-Times (@GulfTimes_QATAR) October 13, 2021
According to officials, travelers entering by vehicle, train and ferry will be asked about their vaccination status as part of the standard US Customs and Border Protection intake process.
At the discretion of the officers, proof of immunization of travelers will be verified in a secondary screening process.
Unlike air travel, for which negative results on a Covid-19 diagnostic test are required before boarding a flight bound for that country, tests will not be required for entry by land or sea, as long as the people meet the vaccination requirement.
On the other hand, the Biden Administration clarified that restrictions on migrants seeking asylum are not being lifted. “Any foreigner who tries to enter the United States irregularly … will be subject to border restrictions, including expulsion,” emphasized an official.
According to the same source, that restriction will continue because overcrowded conditions at border patrol facilities pose a Covid-19 threat.
With Reuters, AP and EFE