WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will reopen its land borders to non-essential travel next month, ending a 19-month shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic, as the country takes steps to require that all international visitors are vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Travel by car, train, or ferry between the United States and its neighbors, Mexico and Canada, has been restricted to essential travel, such as business activities, since the early days of the pandemic. The rules announced Wednesday will allow foreigners with a complete vaccination scheme Enter the United States regardless of the reason for the trip as of early November, when a similar measure is implemented for arrivals by air to the country.
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By mid-January, even travelers in essential activities, such as truckers, who intend to enter the United States, will have to be fully vaccinated.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he was “pleased to take steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner” and praised the economic benefits of doing so.
Both Mexico and Canada have for months lobbied the United States to ease travel restrictions that have separated families and limited leisure travel since the beginning of the pandemic. The latest move comes weeks after the announcement of que The United States will end restrictions on air travel from some countries, and instead it will require proof of vaccination for foreigners attempting to arrive by plane.
ABoth measures will come into force at the beginning of November, officials indicated, who did not specify a particular date.
The new rules will only apply to legal income to the United States. Officials warned that those who try to arrive irregularly will remain subject to removal under the so-called Title 42 authority, which was invoked in principle by former President Donald Trump, and which has been criticized by immigration activists for immediately expelling migrants before they can apply for asylum. . One of the officials noted that the United States will maintain the measure because crowded conditions at Border Patrol facilities pose a risk of COVID-19 outbreaks.
Requirements to enter the United States by land
According to the authorities, Travelers entering the United States by car, train, or ferry They will be asked about their vaccination status as part of the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) standard intake process. At the discretion of the agents, travelers will have to show proof of vaccination, which would be verified in a secondary filter.
Unlike air travel, for which evidence of a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test is required before boarding a flight to enter the United States, a diagnostic analysis will not be required to reach the country by land, as long as the travelers comply with the vaccination requirement.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States will accept travelers who have a complete vaccination scheme with any of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, not just those approved for use in the United States. That means the AstraZeneca vaccine, widely used in Canada, will be accepted.
Officials noted that the CDC is still working to formalize admission procedures for those who received doses of two different vaccines, something quite common in Canada.
The delay in the vaccination requirement for essential cross-border shipments is intended to give truckers and others involved additional time to get vaccinated and minimize the possibility of hampering economic activity by the vaccination requirement, officials said.
Mexico has not implemented any entry procedure for travelers during the pandemic. Canada allows the entry of people with evidence of a complete vaccination scheme against COVID-19, as well as evidence of a diagnostic test with a negative result carried out 72 hours before their arrival in the country.