Beginning in November, the Biden administration will relax travel restrictions at the borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated visitors, reopening the United States to tourists and separated family members who had been barred from entering the nation throughout the outbreak.
Foreign visitors with proof of immunization who want to visit family or friends or shop in the United States will be allowed to enter, senior administration officials said on Tuesday, just days straight after the administration announced that it would soon lift a similar broad limitation on foreign nationals traveling to the country from another country.
The US To Allow Vaccinated People From Canada And Mexico
The removal of the prohibitions effectively marks the reopening of the United States to tourists and tourism, ushering in a new chapter in the country’s recovery from the epidemic after it closed its borders for over 19 months.
However, the new criteria imply that the United States will only accept vaccinated travelers. Unvaccinated passengers will continue to be barred from entering Mexico or Canada, according to officials.
Those who have never been barred from crossing land borders, such as commercial drivers and students, will be required to provide proof of vaccination before crossing beginning in January, in an effort to give them time to acclimate to the new restrictions, officials said.
The travel restrictions, which went into effect in March 2020, only apply to “nonessential passengers,” such as families visiting family members or shopping, on whom border villages rely for revenue. Politicians from such areas have appealed to the Biden administration to ease the travel restrictions in order to help struggling companies.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, said that the travel restrictions cost her state’s Erie County at least $660 million each year. Officials did not specify when the travel restrictions will be lifted.
Those arriving through the Mexico or Canada borders will be questioned about their vaccination status by Customs and Border Protection agents before being permitted to proceed. According to officials, police will have the discretion to refer travelers to secondary screenings to have their documents verified.
President Biden, on the other hand, will maintain a separate border policy implemented early in the epidemic to turn away migrants seeking protection or economic opportunity – a strategy that has been challenged by a top State Department official and the administration’s own health advisors.
Officials stated the decision to restore the land borders was taken in part to coincide with the reopening of the air borders to international passengers. Those traveling by air will be required to provide confirmation of vaccination as well as a negative coronavirus test in order to enter the United States, while those crossing the border by land will not be required to do so.
People are considered completely immunized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention two weeks after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or a single dosage of Johnson & Johnson’s.
Business executives across the world and in the United States have applauded the move to relax the limits on aviation travel. According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel spending will be roughly half of what it was a year ago in 2020, at around $600 billion.