Visa Crunch

After 18 months, United States to open land borders for fully vaccinated Canadians

Starting November, fully vaccinated Canadians will be allowed to enter the United States via land and ferry border crossings. Senior US authorities announced on October 12. A strategy to reopen the land borders with Canada and Mexico, which have been restricted to non-essential travel since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020.

According to the top US administration authorities who informed reporters earlier about the plan during a conference call, a precise date for the reopening has yet to be set. They stated that a lot of specifics, like the type of evidence that will be approved to establish a traveler’s vaccination status, are still being ironed out.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is also expecting information on travelers who received combined doses of Covid-19 vaccinations or the AstraZeneca vaccine. For its own citizens, the United States has not approved the mixing of vaccination dosages or the AstraZeneca vaccine. However, a representative on the call stated that the CDC intends to propose that flight travelers who have been immunized with any vaccine licensed by the World Health Organization for emergency use, which includes AstraZeneca, be accepted. A similar rule could be expected at land borders, according to the official.

A New York Democrat, Rep. Brian Higgins, who has been one of the fiercest critics in Washington of the prolonged border constraints, made the announcement about the reopening late Tuesday night.

“The sigh of relief from northern border communities following this announcement can practically be heard on either end of the Peace Bridge,” Higgins said in a statement, referring to the bridge that connects Buffalo, New York, and Fort Erie, Ontario, and is one of the busiest crossings between the two countries. Border agents will question Canadians crossing the border about their immunization status, according to US sources.

Only if a traveler is referred for secondary screening will proof of vaccination be sought, according to government officials on the call. There will be no obligation for a passenger to show a negative Covid-19 test if they are completely vaccinated. When the new guidelines take effect, other travel limitations for fully vaccinated passengers arriving by plane will also be eased.

After months of excessive measures at the world’s longest international border, Canadian and American citizens will soon face essentially the same restrictions when crossing the border.

The Canadian government reopened its border to fully vaccinated US travelers in August, prompting persistent inquiries about why the US administration did not do the same. Canadians have been permitted to enter the United States via air, even for non-essential causes, for the majority of the pandemic, which has been criticized as inconsistent. The amended regulations, according to government authorities, reflect the rising acceptance of immunizations across North America.

Approximately 263 million individuals in Canada, the United States, and Mexico have been immunized, according to the report. Beginning in January 2022, essential personnel crossing the land border, such as truckers, will be subject to a new vaccine mandate. Authorities said they’re holding off on implementing that move, dubbed the “second phase of the border reopening,” until vital staff has had enough time to get completely vaccinated.  Border limitations that were due to expire on October 21, will now be prolonged until the new rules take effect.

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