The United States will lift restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, ending historic curbs on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic, two U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
The rules, which will be formally announced by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday, will cover land borders and ferry crossings.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement,”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,”.
The precise date in early November when the restrictions will be lifted will be announced “very soon,” one of the officials said.
Canada on Aug. 9 began allowing fully vaccinated U.S. visitors for non-essential travel.
In early January, the United States will require essential visitors, like truck drivers, to be vaccinated to cross land borders, the officials said.
U.S. lawmakers have been pushing the White House to lift restrictions that have barred non-essential travel by Canadians across the northern U.S. border since March 2020, and many border communities have been hit hard by the closure. Mexico has also pressed the Biden administration to ease restrictions.
By contrast, all non-U.S. air travelers will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding a flight – and will need to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.
The White House announced on Sept. 20 that the United States in early November would lift travel restrictions on air travelers from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the United States would accept the use by international visitors of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization.