The Department of Homeland Security on Friday issued new rules for reopening the nation’s land borders on November 8.
The regulations, which apply to Covid-19-vaccinated foreign nationals, are similar to guidance for air travel that the Biden administration outlined earlier this week.
“Non-citizen travelers should be prepared to (1) provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website; and (2) verbally attest to their reason for travel and COVID-19 vaccination status during a border inspection,” the department said in a statement.
According to the CDC, accepted vaccines include those “approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” such as the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, as well as “vaccines listed for Emergency Use (EUL) by the World Health Organization,” such as AstraZeneca.
Over the past months, travel restrictions on people wishing to enter the United States had devolved into a major trans-Atlantic rift. European leaders, frustrated at the apparent lack of progress, began taking their gripes public. They said the rules were damaging relations between Europe and the United States.
The new rules, the White House has said, will be rolled out in phases. The first phase, kicking off in early November, will allow fully vaccinated visitors traveling for nonessential reasons, like visiting friends or for tourism, to cross US land borders.
The second phase, which will start in early January, will apply the vaccination requirement to all inbound foreign travelers.
“We are pleased to take another step toward easing travel restrictions at our borders in a manner that strengthens our economy and protects the health and safety of the American public,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in the agency’s Friday statement. “We continue working closely with our international partners to sustainably implement new rules for resuming travel.”
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