The U.S. is reopening its land border to non-essential travel from Canada starting November 8.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced that fully vaccinated travelers from Canada and Mexico would be able to enter the country from land and seaports of entry.
“In alignment with the new international air travel system that will be implemented in November, we will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings,” Mayorkas said in a government media release.
“Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our broader economy. We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The reopening will happen in two phases. In November, fully vaccinated travelers will be able to enter the U.S. by land or ferry if they have proof of vaccination. Tourists who have not been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will not be able to cross the border.
The second phase will begin in early January 2022. The U.S. will require all essential and non-essential travelers to be fully vaccinated in order to cross the land or sea border. This includes essential travelers like truckers, students, and healthcare workers.
Congressman Brian Higgins, who has long been advocating for the border to reopen, applauded the move. He tweeted that it would be good for businesses and families who have been affected by the closure, especially those in border towns.