The United States will lift restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November.
This will end the historic curbs on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest development was revealed by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a statement. According to him, the administration will from next month “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.”
The new rules are similar but not identical to the planned requirements announced last month for international air travelers.
The move has made lawmakers from U.S border states praise the government, saying the restrictions had harmed the economies of local communities and has prevented visits to friends and families for 19 months.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, members of our shared cross-border community have felt the pain and economic hardship of the land border closures. That pain is about to end,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.
Unvaccinated visitors will still be barred from entering the United States from Canada or Mexico at land borders.
The officials from President Joe Biden’s administration emphasized that the White House would not lift the “Title 42” order put in place by former President Donald Trump’s administration that has essentially cut off access to asylum for hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking to enter from Mexico.
The precise date in early November when the restrictions will be lifted on both land and air travel will be announced “very soon,” one of the officials said.
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