The Biden administration has announced that starting in November 2021 (although no exact date has been announced), the border restrictions at the U.S./Canadian & U.S./Mexican borders will be lifted for fully vaccinated travelers. Unvaccinated travelers will continue to be banned from crossing the borders with Mexico or Canada. Those who were never banned from traveling across the land borders, including essential workers, commercial drivers and students, will also need to show proof of vaccination starting in January 2022.
Those entering at the Mexico or Canada borders will be questioned by Customs and Border Protection officers about their vaccination status before being allowed to cross. The officers will have the discretion to send travelers to secondary screenings to have their documents checked. The decision on the land borders was made in part to coincide with the reopening to fully vaccinated foreign air travelers (although no formal announcement of this change has been made yet). While those traveling by air will need to show both proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test to enter the United States, there will be no testing requirement for those crossing the land border.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers people fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s. Those who have received vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization, such as AstraZeneca’s, would also be considered fully vaccinated (a standard one senior official said would probably be applied to those crossing the land border). Officials added that the C.D.C. was still discussing whether foreigners crossing from Canada or Mexico with two doses from different vaccines could enter.
The decision to lift the restrictions on air travel has been celebrated by business leaders overseas and in the United States. Travel spending dropped nearly in half to about $600 billion in 2020 from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group.