WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration says the United States will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All international visitors will need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Vehicle, rail and ferry travel between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to essential travel, such as trade, since the earliest days of the pandemic.
The new rules to be announced Wednesday will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals entry to the U.S. regardless of the reason for travel.
Congressman Brian Higgins of New York released the following statement about the announcement
At long last, there is action by the United States to open the doors and welcome back our Canadian neighbors.
A robust cross-border exchange between the United States and Canada is fundamental to our binational relationship and mutually beneficial to our nations’ citizens, businesses and economies. Strong vaccination rates in Canada made the continued border shutdown absurd and unjustifiable.
For months now we’ve heard from businesses that are suffering and families distraught over the separation imposed by the continued border shutdown. The sigh of relief coming from Northern Border communities following this announcement is so loud it can practically be heard on either end of the Peace Bridge.
Border communities await further details from the administration with great expectation, and I will continue to advocate for a more fully and freely open border to both governments, sooner rather than later.
The border closed in March 2020. The land border reopened to vaccinated Americans in August.
Victoria Balderrama contributed the video report to this story.