Travelers from Canada and Mexico who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to enter the U.S. starting next month through land and ferry ports of entry, the Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday.
“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,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
There will be a phased approach for travelers from Canada and Mexico. First, next month, visitors can enter the U.S. at land and ferry ports of entry for non-essential reasons. Then, in early January 2022, the agency 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.”
The development is major news for the travel industry, which has been struggling during the pandemic and pressuring U.S. officials to reopen the country to tourism.
“Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our broader economy,” Mayorkas said. “We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner.”