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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in a statement, said it will allow travel for non-essential purposes via land and ferry crossings. It will also require proof of vaccination for any travel over these crossings, essential or not From January 2022.

Since March 2020, the US has restricted travel from its northern and southern neighbours due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, President Joe Biden’s administration recently revealed that restrictions on fully jabbed air travellers would be eased in November.

The current rules bar entry to most non-US citizens who have been to the UK, China, India, South Africa, Iran, Brazil and a number of European countries within the last 14 days.

In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said his department was “pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner.”

Last week the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said all visitors must receive vaccines approved or recognized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Currently, vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have been approved in the US.

The WHO has also supported these three, along with others made by AstraZeneca-Oxford, Sinopharm and Sinovac. News of the upcoming announcement has drawn praise from US lawmakers with constituencies along the Canadian border.

Chuck Schumer, the Democrats’ Senate Majority Leader in his statement said, “Kudos to President Biden for doing the right thing and increasing cross border travel between Canada and the US.”

The announcement of new rules in September was a surprise to many – coming days after the US government said it was not the right time to lift restrictions.

By: Moud Sinaman