The U.S. Border Rules Have Changed For Canadians & This Is What You Need To Know
Prepare yourself before heading out! 🚗
As of Saturday, January 22, Canadians looking to cross the U.S. border by land or by ferry will need to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to border patrol officers. This is following similar regulations for air travel into the United States put in place in early January.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed the changes, which were first announced in October of last year, in a release issued on January 20.
"Beginning on January 22, 2022, DHS will require non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide," the DHS wrote.
The DHS says the new restrictions will apply to "non-U.S. individuals who are traveling for both essential and non-essential reasons," but not to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
According to DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, "These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy."
Canadians looking to cross the border will now have to "verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status" and provide proof of vaccination to border control, as well as "a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant document," such as a passport. As of now, COVID-19 screening tests are not necessary in order to travel to the U.S.
These new requirements, along with similar Canadian regulations, have received backlash from some groups. According to CBC and other media, a "freedom convoy" of truckers from British Columbia is currently driving across the country to Ottawa in protest of mandatory cross-border vaccination policies.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.