In November, the United States will open its land borders to vaccinated travelers.
According to a senior White House official, the US will open its land borders with Mexico and Canada to non-essential visitors who are completely vaccinated against Covid-19 in early November.
The administration would announce a “specific date very soon,” according to the person, both for land crossings and international air travel, which would be timed to “go concurrently.”
In September, the US declared that all vaccinated air travelers who undergo testing and contact tracing would be allowed to fly again in November.
To slow the spread of the coronavirus, US borders were closed to travelers from the European Union, the United Kingdom, and China in March 2020, with India and Brazil added later. Overland travellers from Mexico and Canada were also barred from entering the country.
The roughly 19-month period of restrictions resulted in both personal and financial hardship.
According to a White House insider, the land border will reopen in two stages.
Vaccines would first be required for “non-essential” excursions, such as visiting relatives or tourism, but unvaccinated visitors will be allowed into the nation for “necessary” visits, as they have done for the past year and a half.
A second phase, starting in “early January” 2022, will require all travelers to the US to be completely vaccinated, regardless of their reason for visiting.
“This staged approach will give important visitors like truckers and others adequate time to get vaccinated, allowing for a smooth transition to the new system,” the source explained.
According to the official, the new schedule means that the land border limitations, which are now slated to expire on October 21, will have to be extended once more before the new rules take effect.
The senior official cited US health officials’ recent recommendations for guidance on which immunizations would enable visitors access.
According to the official, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced last week that all vaccines certified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted for aviation travel.
“While the CDC hasn’t made a final determination here,” the official said, adding that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which isn’t available in the United States, will be accepted.
According to the official, the rule change will only apply to legal land entries into the country.
The contentious Trump-era rule known as “Title 42.” The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.