The U.S. will reopen its land borders with Mexico and Canada in November to vaccinated travelers, a move that will boost not only tourism but other industries that rely on quick and easy border crossings every day. While air travel has been allowed between Mexico and the U.S., and Canada opened to vaccinated tourists from the U.S. in August, the land borders have had strict restrictions since March 2020.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement the U.S. “will begin allowing travelers 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.”
Essential travel — for students, truck drivers, etc. — has always been allowed, but those travelers will be required to show proof of vaccination beginning Jan. 1. The U.S. has not announced the exact date in November, just as it has not announced the exact November date that vaccinated travelers from overseas may freely enter the country. Those dates will be announced “very soon,” Reuters reports. Considering November starts in less than three weeks, it should be.
“This reopening will be welcome news to countless businesses, medical providers, families, and loved ones that depend on travel across the northern border,” said New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, one of the senators whose state borders Canada who has been lobbying the Biden administration to reopen the border.
Ten states share a land border with Canada, including Michigan, which is connected to Ontario by bridges across rivers. Wisconsin, Indiana, and Illinois don’t share a geographic border with Canada but do have customs facilities because shipping enters directly from Canada across the Great Lakes.
Four U.S. states, including the two most populous in California and Texas, share a land border with Mexico.