This Friday, the White House announced that it will reopen its land borders and lift the restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic for fully vaccinated international travelers starting on November 8.
21 months of the historical restrictions that had limited entry to the United States for much of the world during the health emergency due to Covid-19 are ending.
Similarly, the land crossings between the United States, Canada and Mexico will be activated after being completely closed since March 2020, which prevented commercial exchange between border nations and delayed the reunion of many separated families during the pandemic.
The US authorities announced that entry will be allowed only to foreign citizens who have completed their vaccination scheme, regardless of the reason for their trip. A similar measure is planned for international air travel to the United States in the coming month.
Restrictions imposed by the United States Government limited access to millions of tourists from China, Canada, Mexico, India, Brazil, much of Europe and elsewhere, mainly hurting the economy among these nations. The most affected were border communities when foreign workers were prevented from entering to reunite with their families.
White House Spokesman Kevin Muñoz confirmed the November 8 opening date on Twitter, noting that the policy “is guided by public health, strict and consistent.”
The US ‘new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travelers to the United States will begin on Nov 8. This announcement and date applies to both international air travel and land travel. This policy is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent. https://t.co/uaDiVrjtqi
– Kevin Munoz (@ KMunoz46) October 15, 2021
Restrictions on non-essential travelers lifted in the US.
In January 2020, the first restrictions to stop the advance of Covid-19 imposed by former President Donald Trump, were directed at travelers from China and then were extended to other countries, adding the land borders between Mexico and Canada, without clear dates on how and when to pick them up.
However, the opening of the borders was made to wait until this Tuesday, October 12, when the White House announced that it would lift the restrictions, relax the crossings between its land borders and the ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico for tourists fully vaccinated on next November 8. These requirements are similar to those announced in September for travelers coming from international flights.
Those vaccinated from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece, as well as Great Britain, Ireland, China and India, will be able to access without any restriction. South Africa, Iran, Brazil and more than 150 nationalities.
In August, prior to the White House statement, U.S. international passenger air traffic declined 43% and overall passenger air traffic decreased 21% from pre-pandemic levels, it said Friday. the U.S. Department of Transportation.
US Travel Association Chief Executive Roger Dow said the decline in international visits since the pandemic began caused the loss of more than $ 250 billion in revenue.
With the news of the opening of the borders, the US airline, hotel and cruise industry saw a rise in the value of its shares, including American Airlines, by 2.8%. Marriott International Inc, an increase of 3.7%; and Carnival Corp, 0.9% more. Similarly, in recent weeks US airlines have seen an increase in the sale of their international tickets.
US airlines are eager to begin safely reuniting the countless families, friends and colleagues who have not seen each other in nearly two years. https://t.co/rzkkkTEtBk
– Airlines for America (@AirlinesDotOrg) October 15, 2021
The administration of President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly said that he supports the idea of using “health passports,” succeeded in making vaccination of visitors a requirement as a condition for lifting border restrictions.
Unvaccinated visitors will still be prohibited from entering the United States from Canada or Mexico through land borders
For months, both Mexico and Canada have lobbied the United States to ease travel restrictions that have separated families and reduced tourism since the start of the pandemic.
For his part, Mexican President Manuel López Obrador said that “many meetings were needed to achieve the opening of the border.”
However, foreign visitors crossing a land border will not need to show a negative PCR test, nor will they need to quarantine, but will need to show proof of vaccination.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that vaccines authorized by US regulators or the World Health Organization will be accepted for entry into the country, a requirement that is not encouraging for citizens vaccinated with immunizers not yet authorized by WHO.
With Reuters, AP and EFE