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U.S. officials warned Tuesday that the reopening of international land borders next week could lead to longer waiting times at ports of entry and called for travelers to have their travel documents and vaccines available to officials. borders.
On Monday, the U.S. land borders will reopen to authorized adults who can prove they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Unvaccinated children under the age of 18 will be able to enter if they travel with a fully vaccinated adult, officials said Tuesday.
This applies to travelers crossing through official ports of entry, as well as those arriving by passenger train. Officials said it didn’t matter if the vaccination test was in a language other than English.
The long-awaited reopening on November 8 comes just before the holiday season, paving the way for tourists and other non-essential travelers after about 19 months of border closures during the pandemic. It follows a recent decision by the Biden administration to reopen the country to vaccinated foreigners traveling by plane. Although a negative coronavirus test is required to enter the country by air, this will not be the case for crossing land borders. The border has been open to travel essential for legal trade, emergency response and medical reasons.
The United States has seen a record number of illegal border crossings in the past 12 months, with officials blaming, in part, the misinformation spread by smuggling networks on vulnerable migrants, telling them incorrectly that U.S. borders were open. .
Border officials reiterated on Tuesday that authorities continue to deport migrants crossing the border illegally, authorized by the public health rule that was put in place at the start of the pandemic.
“Any foreigner attempting to enter the United States other than at a legal port of entry or without proper documents will be subject to border restrictions, including expulsions,” said Matthew Davies, executive director of eligibility and passenger programs. Customs and Border Protection. .
The vaccination test can be electronic or paper, officials said, but the vaccine must be approved by U.S. regulators or for emergency use by the World Health Organization.
A good number of Mexicans have been vaccinated with drugs that are not authorized by the WHO, such as Sputnik V, developed in Russia, or the CanSino vaccine in China.
Reopening the country to vaccinated air and ground travelers has been a welcome development for businesses, many of which have suffered due to the closures caused by the pandemic.
In 2019, more than half of the 20.7 million people who visited the United States from Canada traveled across land borders, according to the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group. And more than 15 million people traveled to the United States across the land border with Mexico.
Canada reopened its land borders in August and Mexico never closed.
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