The United States is expanding the requirements for COVID vaccine for non-citizens at national borders
The United States is expanding the requirements for COVID vaccine for non-citizens at national borders

The United States is expanding the requirements for COVID vaccine for non-citizens at national borders

People wait in line to cross the San Ysidro Port of Entry on the Mexican-US border as the US reopens air and land borders against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinated travelers for the first time since COVID-19 restrictions were introduced in Tijuana, Mexico November 9, 2021. REUTERS / Toya Sarno Jordan

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WASHINGTON, April 21 (Reuters) – The Biden administration said on Thursday that it extended a requirement for non-US citizens crossing land or ferry terminals at the US-Mexico-US-Canada border to be vaccinated against COVID 19.

The requirements were first adopted in November as part of the reopening of the US for land crossings by foreign tourists, after the borders had been closed to most visitors since March 2020. Unlike international air travelers on their way to the US, people travel at land or ferry crossings need not give a negative COVID-19 test.

Foreign air travelers must present proof of vaccination to airlines before traveling to the United States, as well as a negative COVID-19 test taken within a day. Foreign nationals crossing border crossings into the United States must be prepared to provide evidence of vaccination.

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DHS said the decision came after consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which says vaccines remain the most effective public health measure to protect people from serious illness or death from COVID-19.

“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to protecting public health while facilitating legal trade and travel, which is crucial to our economic security,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Major airlines, companies and travel groups want the White House to complete the COVID-19 test requirements before departure for vaccinated international passengers traveling to the United States.

They argue that the test requirements are unnecessary and deter Americans from traveling abroad because of the cost of testing and the risk of being stranded abroad if they test positive.

“People are simply reluctant to take the chance that they will not be able to return to the United States,” the White House groups wrote in February.

The UK, France, Canada and many other countries have dropped pre-departure test requirements for fully vaccinated visitors.

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Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing Mark Porter

Our standards: Thomson Reuters trust principles.

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