U.S. to drop Canada, Mexico land border restrictions in Nov for fully vaccinated travellers

U.S. to drop Canada, Mexico land border restrictions in Nov for fully vaccinated travellers

WASHINGTON – 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 travellers in place since March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement the administration next month “will begin allowing travellers 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 planned requirements announced last month for international air travellers, U.S. officials said in a call earlier with reporters.

Lawmakers from U.S border states praised the move to lift the unprecedented restrictions which 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 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.

Homeland Security said the administration was creating “consistent, stringent protocols for all foreign nationals traveling to the United States – whether by air, land, or ferry.”

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