Foreign nationals fully vaccinated with WHO-approved vaccines will be able to enter the US from Canada and Mexico for non-essential travel starting November, US media reported after being briefed on the upcoming policy change.
The new rules are set to be officially announced on Wednesday and are aligned with how the US plans to regulate air travel. At the moment, only essential travel is allowed across the US land border, with restrictions renewed on a monthly basis since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Starting on a yet-to-be-disclosed date next month, tourists, people visiting family, and other travelers will be able to enter the US if they provide proof of full vaccination. The screening will be part of the usual checks by the US Customs and Border Protection, with officers allowed to order additional verification of vaccination status.
Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization that are not necessarily used in the US will be recognized. It will open the door, for example, to Canadians who have received the UK-developed AstraZeneca vaccine, which is popular in Canada. China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are also on the list.
The vaccination requirement will be similar to what will be asked of air travelers and will be introduced at the same time. The US plans to switch from per-country restrictions for non-essential air travel to an immunity mandate in November.
Starting in mid-January, vaccination will be required for essential cross-border traffic as well, both for land and air crossings.
Canada opened up its land border with the US in early August, allowing fully-vaccinated American citizens with negative tests entry for non-essential reasons. Canadian officials complained about the lack of reciprocity by the US. Mexico has not put into place Covid-19 entry restrictions.
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