U.S. land border to reopen to vaccinated Canadians in November, says congressman


WASHINGTON – A congressman from New York state says the United States plans to reopen its land border to vaccinated Canadians in November.

In a statement, Rep. Brian Higgins says proof of vaccination will be required for Canadians to enter.

He did not give a specific date, but he said further details will be announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in co-ordination with the government’s health agencies.

Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents have been allowed back into Canada since August, provided they have waited at least 14 days since getting a full course of a Health Canada-approved vaccine and can show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.

Beginning in early November, the U.S. plans to allow fully vaccinated visitors from a host of countries where stateside travel has long been restricted, including China, India, Ireland, Iran, South Africa, Brazil and the 26 European countries without border controls, known as the Schengen group.

Vaccines approved by either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization will be accepted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed this week.

But CDC stayed mum on the question of whether those who received a mixed course of vaccines – one dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca and one of Moderna, for instance – would be considered fully vaccinated for travel purposes.

Questions put to the CDC were not immediately answered earlier on Tuesday.

Only about 66 per cent of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated against the virus, according to the latest numbers available from the CDC. By comparison, Health Canada says 81 per cent of eligible Canadians 12 or over have had a full course of vaccine.