U.S. to open border to fully vaccinated travellers starting Nov. 8

The United States is set to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travellers starting Nov. 8, and will apply to those travelling by air, land or passenger ferry.

Air travellers will need to show proof of vaccination on arrival to the U.S., but will still need to show a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel prior to boarding their flight. The same policy applies for air travellers coming to Canada from the U.S.

Non-essential travellers crossing at a land border will be required to show proof of vaccination or attest to their vaccination status upon request by a border agent, but unlike air travellers there will be no requirement for them to show a negative COVID-19 test.

By January, essential travellers crossing at a land border will also be required to be fully vaccinated.

A number of details are still being determined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That includes the type of documentation that will be accepted to prove a traveller’s vaccination status and whether or not travellers with mixed doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be considered fully vaccinated.

However, the CDC has informed applicable airlines that any vaccine approved in the U.S, as well as vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, will be accepted for air travel.

The Canada-U.S. border has been closed for non-essential travel since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Canada opened its border to U.S. travellers in early August.

U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration have been under increasing pressure in recent weeks to follow Canada’s lead and open the border for non-essential travel.

Rep. Brian Higgins — a New York Democrat who has been one of the loudest critics in Washington of the continued border restrictions — is calling on the CDC to clarify its position on mixed dosing given that millions of Canadians have received two different vaccines.

“The prospect of millions of Canadian travellers being indefinitely denied access to the United States because they received mixed doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is deeply concerning,” Higgins said it a statement.

The existing border restrictions were set to expire on Oct. 21, but will now be extended until the new rules go into effect.

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