Starting from Saturday, January 22, travelers who wish to enter the United States from land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the Mexico and Canada borders will be able to do so only if they are fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus.

The decision was announced on January 20 by the Department of Homeland Security which has pointed out that the new restriction will not apply to US citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or US nationals.

Explaining the decision, Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas noted that non-US nationals entering through ports of entry or ferry terminals the Northern and Southern borders would be asked to show proof of vaccination.

These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy,” he said.

Non-vaccinated travelers, who make a stop in either Canada or Mexico and then attempt to enter the US either through the land or ferry, will not be able to do so.

Those who are vaccinated must show proof of their vaccination status with a vaccine approved by the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and be prepared to present other relevant documents that may be required by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers.

Although these new vaccination requirements do not apply to US citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or US nationals, all travelers are reminded to bring a WHTI-compliant document when re-entering the United States,” Homeland Security notes in a press release announcing the decision.

The Department warns that individuals attempting to enter the country without proper documentation will be expelled, in line with the country’s laws. All travelers are reminded to carry with them a WHTI-compliant document when re-entering the US.

At the same time, the Department reminds travelers that they can take advantage of facial biometrics and CBP One™ in order to help reduce waiting times.

The US opened its doors to travelers from the Schengen Zone countries, as well as those from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland, Brazil, China and India, on November 8, 2021, after keeping the borders closed to these travelers for nearly 20 months.

However, in December, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, signed a proclamation banning from entering immigrants and nonimmigrants from countries that are considered as epidemiologically high-risk areas. These countries are  Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The ban was later lifted at the beginning of December 28, 2022.

>> Which Vaccines Are Accepted for Travel to the US

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