Updated Oct. 15, 2021: The White House Assistant Press Secretary has tweeted that the date for this opening/easing of restrictions is set for November 8th, 2021.
The Biden Administration has announced that it intends to relax Covid-19 travel restrictions on land-border crossings from Canada and Mexico beginning in November of this year. As a part of the trend towards implementing vaccine requirements, nonessential travelers will now be required to show proof of vaccination from a list of approved vaccines in order to enter the U.S.. This rule change will make the land and air travel rules consistent with each other, and is in line with recent announcements easing air travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers.
First implemented in March of 2020, the Covid-19 land travel bans have been a great source of frustration for all travelers crossing U.S. land borders. Border cities that rely on cross border traffic for economic reasons have been especially hit hard by these restrictions. This news is therefore quite welcome as it represents a major step in the nation’s road back to normalcy. It is important to note that unvaccinated travelers will still be prohibited from entering the U.S. for nonessential travel. Fortunately, the increased availability and access to Covid-19 vaccines ensures that many will now again be able to enter the U.S. In fact, according to Oxford’s Our Word in Data project, vaccination rates in Canada are the highest in the world at about 72% fully vaccinated as of October 9, 2021,. Northern Mexican city vaccination rates are also as high or higher than their U.S. counterparts per the Mexican Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard.
Coming in January 2021, the vaccination requirement will be extended to all travelers, essential or not, so visitors and immigrants to the U.S. should look forward to more good news. Also, the this is a developing story, and we expect the White House to make an official announcement on this matter soon, so for the latest news be sure to stay tuned to WR Immigration.