The land border between Canada and the U.S. will be reopened to non-essential travel going southbound beginning next month.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced late Tuesday it would allow travellers from Canada to cross the land border sometime in November as long as they can show proof of being fully vaccinated.
“Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our broader economy. We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
The loosened restrictions at the border also apply to ferry crossings as well as travellers going from Mexico to the U.S. over those two countries’ land border.
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade CEO Bridgitte Anderson said the announcement is welcome news for the business community.
“Our governments must build on this momentum, and work together to provide a universal and internationally recognized vaccination certification system, ensure Canadians with mixed-dose combinations are eligible for entry and reassess pre-departure PCR tests for fully vaccinated travellers,” she said in a statement.
The land border between Canada and the U.S. was initially closed to non-essential travel at the outset of the pandemic in March 2020.
Canada reopened its border to fully vaccinated American travellers back in August 2021, but the move was not reciprocated by U.S. authorities.
However, the Americans have allowed Canadians to enter the U.S. on non-essential business via air travel throughout the pandemic.
U.S. authorities also revealed Tuesday that foreign travellers entering the country must be fully vaccinated by January — be it for essential or non-essential travel.
“This approach will provide ample time for essential travelers such as truckers, students and healthcare workers to get vaccinated,” the DHS said in a statement.
“This new travel system will create consistent, stringent protocols for all foreign nationals traveling to the United States — whether by air, land or ferry — and accounts for the wide availability of COVID-19 vaccinations.”