Jason Redmond / AFP via Getty Images
The United States is taking a big step towards reopening its borders with Canada and Mexico.
Starting next month, the United States will allow non-essential travelers to enter the country along the long land borders it shares with its two neighbors.
Non-essential entry has been prohibited since the first weeks of the global COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020. This is despite the fact that Canada began allowing vaccinated Americans to return in August.
Incoming non-essential travelers will need to prove that they are fully vaccinated, along with other more standard documents required for legal entry.
The move parallels a recently announced milestone for international air travelers.
The Biden administration has not announced the exact date on which either of these policies will take effect, only saying “early November” during a call with reporters. Other details – such as whether the United States will consider the many Canadians who have received doses of two different COVID-19 vaccines as “fully immunized” – have not yet been clarified either.
At this time, people traveling to the United States for essential reasons do not need to be vaccinated. Administration officials say they will start requiring vaccinations at all levels – for essential and non-essential travel – in January.
Vaccination warrants for foreign travelers are among the latest, increasingly stringent measures the Biden administration is taking to demand COVID-19 vaccines.
President Biden began by urging Americans to get vaccinated and then encouraged universities and private employers who imposed their own mandates. Biden then began to impose more limited vaccination requirements on healthcare workers, the US military and other groups, before announcing that all employees in large workplaces should be vaccinated or tested weekly. .
All of these milestones came as the delta variant surged across the United States, despite hundreds of millions of vaccines administered and billions of dollars spent distributing more personal protective equipment, coronavirus testing and testing. other efforts.