The United States Department of Homeland Security has announced land borders will reopen to non-essential travel on November 8. Travellers who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 may enter the U.S. via land and ferry ports of entry provided they have proper documentation showing proof of vaccination.
“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,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “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.”
According to department, the border will reopen in two phases. Phase one will open the border to non-essential travel from Canada and Mexico next month.
The second phase, beginning in early January 2022, will require that all inbound foreign national travellers crossing U.S. land or ferry ports of entry (whether for essential or non-essential reasons) be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination. This approach will provide ample time for essential travelers such as truckers, students, and healthcare workers to get vaccinated.
“The Government of Canada welcomes the news that the U.S. is opening its land border to vaccinated Canadian travellers starting in November. Our two governments have worked closely since the beginning of the pandemic to slow the spread of COVID-19, and [this] announcement is one more step toward returning to normal,” said Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair. “We continue to closely monitor the progress of COVID-19 and will work with our partners in the U.S. to ensure the safety, security and well-being of our respective countries.”
The federal government announced earlier this month that starting October 30, Canadians will need to be fully vaccinated to travel within Canada by plane, and by VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains.
The land border between Canada and the U.S. was initially closed to non-essential travel at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.