By Miriam Raftery
January 21, 2022 (San Diego) – Starting tomorrow, all people entering the U.S. at the Mexican or Canadian borders must be fully vaccinated, except for U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and U.S. nationals. The new requirement will apply to both essential and non-essential travelers, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced.
While non-essential foreign travelers have long been required to be vaccinated, exceptions were allowed until now for essential travelers such as truck drivers.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says, “These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy.”
These changes – which were first announced in October 2021 and made in consultation with the White House and several federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – will align public health measures that govern land travel with those that govern incoming international air travel.
Non-U.S. individuals traveling to the United States via land ports of entry or ferry terminals, whether for essential or non-essential reasons, must:
- verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
- provide proof of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the CDC website;
- present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, or Enhanced Tribal Card; and,
- be prepared to present any other relevant documents requested by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a border inspection.
COVID-19 testing is not required for entry via a land port of entry or ferry terminal.
To learn more about the updated requirements for travelers, review the DHS fact sheet.