DHS Allowing Fully Vaccinated Travelers to Enter U.S. at Border Crossings in Canada, Mexico

By Melanie Arter | October 13, 2021 | 6:27pm EDT
The US Port of Entry at the USA-Canada border, which is still closed to non-essential travel for Canadians, is pictured on the same day as Canada reopens to fully-vaccinated Americans for non-essential travel in Blaine, Washington on August 9, 2021. (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)
The US Port of Entry at the USA-Canada border, which is still closed to non-essential travel for Canadians, is pictured on the same day as Canada reopens to fully-vaccinated Americans for non-essential travel in Blaine, Washington on August 9, 2021. (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it will allow non-essential travelers to enter the United States by land and ferry border crossings from Mexico and Canada border as long as they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have the appropriate paperwork.

“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,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement Tuesday.


“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,” he said.

A reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday what happens if fully vaccinated people present themselves for asylum at an official port of entry and whether they will be allowed to ask for asylum and to begin their immigration proceedings, 

Psaki explained that Title 19, which DHS is amending to allow vaccinated travelers with documentation to enter the U.S. at the northern and southern borders, is different from Title 42, the public health law invoked by the Trump administration during the pandemic.

“The Title 19, different from Title 42. So, Title 19 applies to individuals who have the proper documentation to come into the United States. It would be a different process, and Title 42, as you know, remains in place,” Psaki said Wednesday.

According to DHS, the Title 19 modifications will occur in two phases over the next few months. In November, CBP “will begin allowing fully vaccinated travelers from Mexico or Canada to enter the United States at land and ferry POEs for non-essential reasons.”

However, travelers must have the appropriate paperwork and show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus. Those who are not fully vaccinated won’t be allowed to travel into the country from Canada and Mexico via land and ferry points of entry for non-essential reasons.

Then in January, “DHS will require that all inbound foreign national travelers crossing U.S. land or ferry POEs – whether for essential or non-essential reasons – be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination.”

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