The Biden administration plans to reopen the land borders with Canada and Mexico to vaccinated travelers, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to enter the U.S. for non-essential purposes including visiting family or tourism starting in November, according to The Washington Post. Anyone planning to cross the border for non-essential or essential travel is required to be vaccinated in January.
Local officials in U.S. border towns have urged the Biden administration to lift pandemic-related travel restrictions since vaccines became more available, the Post reported.
The new guidance won’t affect people who enter the U.S. illegally and a Trump-era public health order allowing for rapid expulsions implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will remain in place, according to the Post.
President Joe Biden has been criticized for keeping the public health order, Title 42, in place because migrants typically may not request asylum or refuge under the order, the Post reported. Over 1 million people have been expelled under the order since its implementation in March 2020.
“The Title 42 restrictions are really about protecting the migrants themselves, the DHS workforce and local communities,” an official told the Post. “There’s a strong public health basis, for the moment, for continuing with the Title 42 restrictions.”
Travelers who enter the U.S. legally at ports of entry aren’t held in detention centers like those who cross illegally, according to the Post.
The Biden administration also announced plans to ease restrictions on air travel for foreigners entering the U.S. in November, the Post reported.
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