The United States is set to lift land border restrictions with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals in early November, officials announced on Tuesday.
The decision will end a 19-month freeze due to the Covid-19 pandemic as the country moves to require all international visitors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Vehicle, rail and ferry travel between the US and Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to essential travel, such as trade, since the earliest days of the pandemic.
Homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the new rules which will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the US regardless of the reason for travel.
Mayorkas said in a statement the administration next month “will begin allowing travellers 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.”
In the same vein, a similar easing of restrictions is set to kick in for air travel into the country, allowing entry to fully vaccinated passengers from the UK and most EU countries.
Moreover, lawmakers from US border states praised the move since economies of local communities were harmed. It also prevented visits to friends and families for 19 months long.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, members of our shared cross-border community have felt the pain and economic hardship of the land border closures. That pain is about to end,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.