US land border reopens with Canada and Mexico

Updated on Jul 07, 2024 | Online US Visa

Non-essential trips to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings across the United States border for fully vaccinated travelers will recommence November 8th 2021.

The U.S-Canada border crossing on I-87 in Champlain, NY

Unprecedented restrictions that limited travel into the United States during the onset of COVID-19 pandemic are set to lift on November 8th for fully vaccinated Canadian and Mexican visitors coming from across the border. This means that Canadians and Mexicans and in fact even other visitors flying from nations like China, India and Brazil — can reunite with family after many months or just come for recreation and shopping.

US borders have been closed for nearly 19 months and this easing of restrictions marks a new phase in the recovery from the pandemic and welcoming back travelers and tourism to United States. Canada opened its land borders in August to vaccinated US nationals and Mexico did not close its northern border during the pandemic.

The first phase of unlocking which kicks off on November 8th will allow fully vaccinated visitors traveling for nonessential reasons, like visiting friends or for tourism, to cross US land borders . The second phase which will like start in January 2022, will apply the vaccination requirement to all inbound foreign travelers, whether traveling for essential or nonessential reasons.

It is important to note that United States will welcome only visitors who are vaccinated. Previously, visitors in essential categories like commercial drivers and students who were never banned from traveling across the US land borders will also need to show proof of vaccination when second phase kicks off in January.

Unvaccinated travelers will continue to be banned from crossing the borders with Mexico or Canada.

A senior White House official has following to say about land border opening up "We have seen increased vaccine availability obviously in Canada, which now has very high vaccination rates, as well as in Mexico. And we wanted to have a consistent approach to both land and air entry into this country and so this is the next step to bring those into alignment. "

Economic and business ties

According to Roger Dow the president and chief executive of the U.S. Travel Association, Canada and Mexico are two top source markets of inbound travel and the reopening of U.S. land borders to vaccinated visitors will bring a welcome surge in travel. Nearly $1.6bn in goods cross the border each day, according to the shipping company Purolator International with about one-third of that trade transits through the Windsor-Detroit corridor and some 7,000 Canadian nurses commute across the border daily to work in US hospitals.

Border towns like Del Rio along Texas border in the south and Point Roberts near the Canadian border are almost entirely dependent on cross-border travel to sustain their economy.

Who is considered fully vaccinated?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers people fully inoculated two weeks after they receive a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s. Those who have received vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization, such as AstraZeneca’s, would also be considered fully vaccinated — a standard that one senior official said would probably be applied to those crossing the land border.

What about children?

Children, who until recently had no approved vaccine, are not required to have vaccinations to travel to the United States once the ban is lifted, but they still must show proof of negative coronavirus tests before entering.

Can you shorten wait times?

Custom and Border Protection (CBP) will be charged with enforcing the newly announced vaccination requirement. The Department of Homeland Security suggests using a digital application, also known as CBP One , to speed border crossings. The free mobile app is designed to allow eligible travelers to submit their passport and customs declaration information.

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