United States to reopen land borders with Canada and Mexico to vaccinated visitors

After having already announced the impending end of restrictions for travelers vaccinated against Covid-19 arriving by air, the United States will open “At the beginning of November” their land borders with Mexico and Canada, also to vaccinated visitors, a senior White House official said on the night of Tuesday 12 to Wednesday 13 October.

He assured, during a conference call, that the precise date of entry into force of the new device would be known. ” very soon “ for these trips by land, as for international trips by plane, for which the vaccination obligation had been announced on September 20. “It will go together”, according to the White House source.

To fight against the pandemic, the United States had closed its borders from March 2020 for millions of travelers coming in particular from the European Union, the United Kingdom, or China, then, later, from India. or from Brazil. But also for visitors coming, by land, from Canada and Mexico. This has caused painful personal situations, and economic damage.

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Two phases

Regarding the land crossing of borders, the source said that the new system would be put in place in “Two phases”. Initially, vaccines will be required for travel “Non-essential”, for example to go sightseeing or to visit family, but the vaccination obligation will not apply to the trips considered “Essential”, which have always been allowed.

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Secondly, from the “Beginning of January” 2022, all travelers, whatever their motives, must be fully vaccinated. This will leave “Ample time”, for example, to heavy truck drivers, who have compelling professional reasons to cross the border, to be vaccinated, according to the White House.

The source explained that the current restrictions for these land borders, which expire on October 21, would therefore be extended yet again, until the date of entry into force of the new device.

Which vaccines?

Asked about the vaccines that will allow entry into the territory, the senior official referred to recent indications from the US health authorities.

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), the main federal public health agency, have “Let airlines know that all vaccines approved by the FDA [l’Agence américaine du médicament] and the World Health Organization would be accepted for air travel ”.

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“I anticipate that it will be the same for land travel”, said the senior official, specifying that, in this case, the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not administered in the United States, would be accepted. The source clarified that this lifting of restrictions would only concern legal land entries into the territory.

“Title 42”, the controversial legislation that allowed the Trump administration and then the Biden administration to deport illegal immigrants for health reasons since the start of the pandemic, will continue to apply, has she said. This text, criticized by associations according to which it restricts the right of asylum in particular, was thus invoked by the White House to massively expel Haitians who had recently gathered at the border with Mexico.

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Regarding air transport, the senior official said that the Biden administration still had to finalize the procedure, in particular everything related to the tracing of people entering the territory, and the tests that will be carried out on travelers.

The World with AFP

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