The U.S. will reopen its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated travelers in early November, according to Homeland officials.
The decision ends a 19-month shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and promises a fresh start in the economic recovery of all bordering states.
We “will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings,” reads the official statement.
No exceptions will be made. Unvaccinated visitors will still be prohibited from crossing land borders under the new regulation, officials said.
Customs and Border Protection officers will randomly question people entering the United States about their vaccination status and send them to secondary screenings to have their documents double-checked in case they spot any inconsistency.
For now, the current deadline for the U.S. to reopen land borders is Oct. 21. The reopening will be pushed back once more but this time it wouldn’t extend longer than early November.
Another important announcement occurred on Oct. 8, when a CDC official confirmed that six vaccine brands met the criteria for entry into the United States.
This means that visitors who have received a full series of vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, as well as Oxford-AstraZeneca (including Covishield and Vaxzevria), Sinopharm (Beijing), and Sinovac, will be granted entry.
The CDC, on the other hand, is still debating whether people crossing from Canada or Mexico with two doses of different vaccines should be allowed through.
They also said that in an effort to help commercial drivers, students, and other essential visitors adjust to the new rules, those will have until January to obtain their vaccine certificates.
On the bright side, no testing will be required to enter the U.S. by land or sea, unlike air travel where both a negative COVID-19 test and a vaccine certificated are required.