Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced on October 12, 2021, that DHS will amend Title 19 regulations to allow nonessential travelers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation to enter the United States via land and ferry ports of entry (POEs) across U.S. borders.

The modifications will occur in two phases over the next few months:

  • First, in November 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin allowing fully vaccinated travelers from Mexico or Canada to enter the United States at land and ferry POEs for nonessential reasons. Travelers must have proof of vaccination. 
  • Second, beginning in early January 2022, all inbound foreign national travelers crossing U.S. land or ferry POEs—whether for essential or non-essential reasons—must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination. 

Officials did not give an exact date for lifting the travel restrictions. People entering the United States at the borders with Mexico or Canada will be questioned by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers about their vaccination status before being allowed to cross. The officers will have discretion to send travelers to secondary screenings for their documents to be checked, officials said. The administration will have limited exemptions for unvaccinated travelers from Mexico and Canada, including some children.

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