It’s been 18 months and counting since the U.S. closed its land borders with Mexico and Canada to nonessential travel. But starting sometime in November, the borders are reopening, at least for the fully vaccinated.
The closure of both borders back in March 2020 was an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, essential travel—think students, commercial truck drivers, U.S. citizens—has continued. These groups will also need to show proof of vaccination moving forward. The U.S. is actually behind its neighbors in the process. Canada reopened its border to vaccinated U.S. visitors back in August, while Mexico never closed its northern border.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the U.S. will accept travelers who’ve had vaccines approved by the World Health Organization. This includes the AstraZeneca vaccine that’s approved for use in Canada. Several vaccines in Mexico, including Russia’s Sputnik V, have not been approved by the WHO.
The U.S. will be open for business
In addition to reuniting families, there are hopes the move will help reinvigorate tourism to the U.S.
“The full reopening of international travel to the United States to fully vaccinated individuals is overdue and will provide a jolt to the U.S. economy, travel businesses large and small, and to destinations across America,” Roger Dow, CEO and president of the U.S. Travel Association, said in a statement. Dow also spoke about the losses that U.S. tourism has faced since March 2020.
“Declines in international visitation since the start of the pandemic have resulted in more than $250 billion in lost export income and more than a million U.S. jobs. The closed Canadian and Mexican land borders alone costs the U.S. economy nearly $700 million per month.”
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