WASHINGTON – The Biden administration will lift travel restrictions at the land borders with Canada and Mexico from November for fully vaccinated travelers, reopening the door to the United States to tourists and separated families who had been sealed off from the country for the pandemic.
Those who provide proof of vaccination and are looking to visit families or friends or shop in the United States will be allowed entry next month, senior administration officials said, just weeks afterward. that President Biden lifted a similar sweeping ban on foreigners wishing to travel to the overseas country.
Lifting the 19-month ban on land borders will not only reconnect the United States to its neighbors, but is one of the final steps in opening the country’s borders to vaccinated travelers from around the world. After more than a year of cutting the country off from international tourism, the administration has now turned the country into a welcome destination for the vaccinated – while clarifying that all foreigners who choose not to be vaccinated will face restrictions. strict to enter the United States. States.
Unvaccinated travelers will continue to be prohibited from crossing borders with Mexico or Canada.
In a statement Tuesday evening, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, welcomed the decision of the Biden administration to reopen the Canadian and Mexican borders and to welcome again those who are considered as “non-essential travelers”, such as parents looking to visit family or those looking to go shopping. in the USA.
“Finally, the border between New York and Canada will once again be open to vaccinated travelers from both countries,” said Ms. Gillibrand, adding that the loss of Canadian businesses was costing the US economy $ 1.5 billion per month. . “This reopening will be good news for countless businesses, healthcare providers, families and loved ones who depend on travel across the northern border. “
Travel restrictions, implemented in March 2020 as the coronavirus spreads across the United States, do not apply to commercial traffic, returning US citizens or students. But as vaccine distributions have increased across North America, political leaders representing communities along the U.S. borders have pleaded with the White House for months to lift restrictions in order to offer a reprieve for owners of drugs. business.
Majority leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement that the administration would reopen the border in November.
Nicolas fandos contributed report.