Starting tomorrow, essential workers who want to enter the US by land or ferry must present proof of vaccination

The US reopened its borders for travelers and visitors after more than a year and a half in the pandemic.

Photo: GUILLERMO ARIAS / AFP / Getty Images

Starting tomorrow, Saturday, January 22, essential workers attempting to cross the border into the United States by land or ferry Non-US citizens must present proof of full COVID vaccination.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) specified that the measure applies to those entering through land ports and ferry terminals on the borders between the United States and Mexico, and between the United States and Canada.

The vaccination requirement to enter the US began to apply from November 8 when the border was reopened for the general population, but to travelers who were not considered essential workers.

With the expansion of the provision, workers considered essential, such as nurses and truck drivers, will now also have to comply with the order.

United States land borders with Canada and Mexico were closed to non-essential travel for 20 months due to the advance of COVID-19.

“These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health, while safely facilitating cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy,” said Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security in a statement Thursday.

Requirements to enter the US by land or ferry:

  • verbally confirm COVID-19 vaccination status
  • provide CDC-validated proof of COVID vaccination
  • present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) document such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Card Program, or Enhanced Tribal Card
  • be prepared to present any other relevant documents requested by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) during inspection

Contrary to air travellers, people who cross land borders are not required to show proof COVID-19 negative.

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