US to Re-Open Land and Ferry Entry Points to Fully Vaccinated Canadians, in Early November
The US plans to re-open, after 18 months, its land and ferry border crossing to fully vaccinated Canadians and Mexicans, as well, in early November, senior US officials announced last night.
Although borders by air have been open to for non-essential travel, American land borders have been closed for non-essential travel since March 2020, when COVID first began to spread in the US.
An exact date for the reopening has not yet been determined, as senior officials decide what types of documentation travelers can provide to border patrol agents to prove their vaccination statuses.
The U.S. is also awaiting guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about travelers who received doses of COVID-19 vaccines from two different companies, as Americans are advised to stick with one vaccine brand for both doses.
The US has not approved the mixing of vaccine doses, nor the AstraZeneca vaccine, whose acceptability senior officials are also considering.
The CDC, however, plans to recommend the acceptance of air travelers who have been inoculated with any vaccine, including AstraZeneca, which was approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, said a US official, who added land crossings are likely to follow the CDC’s guidance.
"The sigh of relief coming from northern border communities following this announcement is so loud it can practically be heard on either end of the Peace Bridge," said Rep. Brian Higgins (NY-D), who was referring to the bridge, one of two countries busiest, that connects Buffalo, NY, to Fort Erie, Ont.
Soon following the statement of Rep. Higgins, who has been quite critical of the lengthy restrictions at the US border, the US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas noted that traffic between Canada and the US, a dividing line that is the world's longest international border, generates significant economic activity for both countries.
"We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner," Mayorkas said.
Canada, which reopened its borders in August, now allows fully vaccinated Americans not only to enter the country, but to skip the 14-day quarantine period that was previously required.