For the first time since March 2020, the U.S. is set to open its land border with Canada and Mexico for non-essential trips this November. The border restrictions will lift for fully vaccinated Canadians only, according to American officials.
Both land borders and ferry crossings will reopen early next month, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Tuesday via Reuters. The requirements for Canadian travellers to cross the border will reportedly be similar but not exactly the same as flying into the States.
Mayorkas said Canadians with both their shots will be able to enter the States to “visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings.”
Officials said that the exact date and additional details will be announced very soon. Canada lifted its restrictions for fully vaccinated U.S. visitors in early August.
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According to The New York Times, Customs and Border Protection officers will question Canadians crossing the border about their vaccination status. If there are any doubts, officers can send you in for a second screening to take a closer look at your documents.
Only CDC-approved vaccines are considered valid in the U.S., which include two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson. However, vaccines approved for emergency use by the WHO including Astra-Zeneca are also accepted, reports the Times.
Canada is also implementing some new travel rules of its own. The federal government announced that vaccines will become mandatory for most forms of domestic travel in Canada by the end of October.
By the end of this month, anyone 12 and older who wishes to travel via plane or train in Canada will need to provide proof of vaccination. Only in extreme circumstances (like legitimate medical exemptions) will people be able to travel without being vaccinated. To implement this, the federal government will be rolling out a national vaccine passport in the coming weeks.
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