White House to Lift Pandemic-Related Canada and Mexico Border Crossing Restrictions for Non-Essential Travel

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On October 12, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that the United States will begin easing restrictions on land and ferry border crossings from Canada and Mexico in two phases.

  • Phase 1: Starting in early November, the Department of Homeland Security will allow nonessential travel across the border into the United States for vaccinated individuals. During this first phase, unvaccinated individuals will still be permitted entry for essential travel.
  • Phase 2: The Department of Homeland Security is scheduled to begin the second phase of restrictions in early January, which will require all individuals to be fully vaccinated, except those under limited exceptions, such as children.

The announcement is a welcome addition to the White House’s rescission of COVID-19 related travel bans impacting travelers from China, Iran, the Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India, which was reported by my colleague, Kevin Wang. Those restrictions are also scheduled to end in early November, and all travelers entering the U.S. by air will be required to provide proof of vaccination.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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