U.S. to finally open border to vaccinated Canadians

Oct 15, 2021 | News

The United States will finally open its land borders to fully-vaccinated, non-essential travellers from Canada and Mexico in early November, White House officials said on Tuesday.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas noted the reopening will bring back “significant economic activity” for communities near the Canadian and Mexican borders.

Canada opened its borders to non-essential vaccinated Americans on Aug. 9 as the pandemic began to ease.

When Washington and Ottawa first agreed to close down the world’s longest land border to non-essential travel due to the global health crisis in March 2020, it drained cross-border business and divided friends and family.

Chuck Schumer, the U.S. Senate’s top democrat, said “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,” he said.

Canada’s public safety minister hailed the U.S. decision as “one more step toward returning to normal.”

“We continue to closely monitor the progress of COVID-19 and will work with our partners in the U.S. to ensure the safety, security and well-being of our respective countries,” Bill Blair said in a statement.

It’s not only the U.S. border that will require a vaccine passport. Ottawa said earlier this month that Canadians will need to prove full vaccination to travel by plane or by the federally-mandated Via Rail.

The exact date in November when U.S. border restrictions will be lifted has not yet been determined.