The United States will reopen its land borders with Mexico and Canada starting in November for people who are vaccinated against covid-19. The decision comes after 19 months with the border crossings closed due to the pandemic and many others of negotiation between the two governments to reactivate the area. On the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US agency for epidemic surveillance, the US will allow the entry through ports and by land of citizens who have received the complete vaccination plan of a injection approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to a statement from the Department of Safety. The Mexican Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, has explained that they will hold meetings during the coming weeks between the two administrations to close the details and establish the exact date of the reopening.
“From the first days of November, they will determine the exact date, they will resume activities. It means that land and air travel to the United States will be allowed for people who are vaccinated ”, said Ebrard this Wednesday at the daily morning conference of the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. “We have to see the types of certificates [de vacunación] that Mexico has, there are many questions, different types of universes of people, “added the Foreign Minister, who assured that it was the Secretary of National Security of the United States, Alejandro Mayorkas, who notified him on Tuesday of the reopening. As of September of this year, the WHO had approved immunizations for Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac.
The reopening of the border with the United States was something that urged Mexico. Until now, only travelers considered essential could pass, a category that includes residents, workers, people studying in the US, citizens traveling for medical care, diplomats and the military. The reopening will now include those who want to do tourism or shopping, a very common practice for Mexicans living on the border. Entry will also be allowed for those who want to “visit friends and family,” explains the statement from the US Department of Security.
“Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our economy at the border. We are happy to take these steps to resume regular trips in a safe and sustainable way, ”the statement to Mayorkas quotes. The plan to reopen the area has been on the table for months. With the goal in mind, the Biden Administration in June gave Mexico 1.3 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines to administer at the border alone.
The reactivation will take place in two stages. The first will be the reopening in November for non-essential travelers who must present the necessary documentation to prove that they have received the complete vaccination plan. The second will begin in January, when the requirement that all travelers entering the United States be fully vaccinated and have a certificate to prove it. This second stage is planned for the beginning of next year, as detailed by the Department of Security, to give time to workers and essential travelers who until now did not need to be vaccinated to do so.
“This new travel system will create consistent and strict protocols for all foreign citizens traveling to the United States, whether by air, land or ferry, and represents the wide availability of covid-19 vaccines,” the announcement of the Biden Administration.
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