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Proof of vax needed for land, ferry crossings into U.S. as of Jan. 22

  • Other
  •   01-21-2022  9:24 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Proof of vax needed for land, ferry crossings into U.S. as of Jan. 22
(File photo/Oksana.Perkins/Shutterstock)
Pax Global Media

Starting Jan. 22, 2022, Canadians entering the United States at land borders and ferry terminals will need to show proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination, according to an update posted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Thursday (Jan. 20).

The new restrictions (which will unfold at the U.S.-Mexico border as well) will apply to non-U.S. individuals who are travelling for both essential and non-essential reasons, DHS stated. They will not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals.

“Starting on January 22, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security will require that non-U.S. individuals entering the United States via land ports of entry or ferry terminals along our Northern and Southern borders be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be prepared to show related proof of vaccination,” said 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.”

READ MORE: Reopening of U.S. land border will unfold in 2 phases

The changes were first announced in October 2021 and were made in consultation with the White House and several federal agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said DHS.

The department says the new rule will align public health measures that govern land travel with those that govern incoming international air travel.

What to expect

According to DHS, non-U.S. individuals travelling to the U.S. via land ports of entry or ferry terminals, whether for essential or non-essential reasons, must:

  • verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • provide proof of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the CDC website;
  • present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, or Enhanced Tribal Card; and,
  • be prepared to present any other relevant documents requested by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a border inspection.

It should be noted that COVID-19 testing is not required for U.S. entry at land or ferry crossings. (However, a negative molecular test is still required for re-entry into Canada). 

To help reduce wait times, travellers can take advantage of facial biometrics and CBP One, which is a single portal for CBP mobile applications and services, DHS notes.

To learn more about the updated requirements, review this DHS fact sheet.

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