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U.S. Land Border Rules effective Nov. 8: Essential Travelers Can Drive or Ferry Across, Non-essential Travelers Allowed if Fully Vaccinated

By November 8, 2021November 10th, 2021COVID-19, News
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Prior to the recent announcements by the Customs and Border Protection that announced new policies, travelers coming from Canada and Mexico could only drive across for “essential” purposes, such as those entering the U.S. on work or study visas, U.S. citizens and LPRs returning home, individuals traveling to procure medical care, for emergency response and public health purposes, cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers), official government functions, and military related travel. Travelers seeking to enter to see family and friends or tourism could not drive or ferry across.

Starting from November 8, individuals no longer need to attest to “essential” travel in order to access the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico land borders, but only fully vaccinated travelers are allowed for such “non-essential travel.”

From November 8, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to cross U.S. land borders for non-essential travel.

Fully vaccinated individuals driving or ferrying across the border to enter the U.S. to visit friends or family, or engage in tourism, will be allowed entry upon verbally attesting to their COVID-19 vaccination status and travel intent, and be prepared to present proof of full vaccination to a CBP officer upon request.

These fully-vaccinated non-essential travelers must bring proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the Center for Disease Control website. Details of accepted vaccines can be found here.

There is no indication that any negative COVID-19 test is required at this time.

Between November 8, 2021 and January 2022, essential travelers are not required to be fully vaccinated.

Individuals driving or ferrying into the U.S. via its land borders with Canada or Mexico who are classified as “essential travelers,” are not subjected to the full vaccination requirement. As mentioned above, individuals entering the U.S. on work or study visas, U.S. citizens and LPRs returning home, individuals traveling to procure urgent medical care, emergency responders and public health workers, cross-border traders (e.g., truck drivers), government agents and military personnel on duty, for example, can enter the U.S. through these land borders without providing proof of vaccination.

However, starting from January 2022, all travelers across the land border, including essential travelers, will need to be fully vaccinated.

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