The Government of the United States has announced that effective Jan. 22, foreigners wishing to cross into the country by land or by boat from Canada will also be required to submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requirement already applies to passengers arriving by air or sea.
The United States, which largely closed its borders at the start of the pandemic, reopened them to most travelers in November, provided they were vaccinated, but those arriving by land or by ferry from Mexico and Canada were exempt from it, especially those who commute at bordering areas. That waiver expires Saturday.
The DHS said the measure was taken due to the continued spread of the coronavirus in the country. Travelers must be prepared to show proof of vaccination, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. The new rules shall not apply to US citizens or residents.
”Beginning on January 22, 2022, DHS will require non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide. These new restrictions will apply to non-U.S. individuals who are traveling for both essential and non-essential reasons. They will not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals,” the DHS said in a statement on its website.
“These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy,” the statement went on.
These changes were first announced in October 2021 and made in consultation with the White House and several federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was explained.
COVID-19 testing is not required for entry via a land port of entry or ferry terminal.