The United States has announced it will lift its land border restrictions for Canada and Mexico early next month, ending a ban that has been in place since March 2020.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement that the Biden Administration “will begin allowing travellers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings” from early November.
The US announced last month that it will also relax its ban on UK and EU travellers.
Donald Trump enforced the ban in March last year, and Joe Biden decided to uphold it when he entered office in January. However, this is also set to finally come to an end in November.
What date will the US travel ban end?
The White House has now confirmed the ban will end on 8 November.
“Today, the Biden administration is announcing that its new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travellers to the United States will begin on 8 November,” a statement read.
It will be too late for families to take half-term holidays in the States but means that Britons can travel to the US in time for Christmas and the New Year.
Travellers were initially hopeful that the changes would come in at the start of the month.
Following the announcement, Boris Johnson indicated in a press conference in New York that travel would resume from “the end of October”.
The Prime Minister said travellers would “be able to get there by Thanksgiving [Thursday 25 November] – that’s a great thing”.
He added: “We have done it faster than we expected but that’s thanks to the hard work of our teams.”
What will the new US travel rules be?
Until now only US citizens, their immediate families, green card holders and those with national interest exemptions can travel to the US if they have been in the UK or EU in the previous 14 days.
However, this will now change as part of a wider overhaul of US travel rules, with fully-vaccinated people from the UK and EU allowed to enter. People who have not had both doses of the Covid vaccine will still be banned.
Mr Zients said all foreign visitors will need to demonstrate proof of vaccination as well as proof of a negative test taken with the previous three days, with airlines required to collect contact information from international travellers so that they can be traced if required.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognises Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen from Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but has not approved the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
However, it is expected that those who have received the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will be allowed to enter, as it has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Asked whether Oxford/AstraZeneca would be accepted by the US, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “I have got no indications that it won’t be.
“I am confident that every vaccine we have used, any vaccine received in the UK and approved by the NHS, obviously signed off by the MHRA, WHO will be applicable.”
The US is on the UK’s “rest of world” list, the rules for which differ depending on your vaccination status.
If you are fully vaccinated:
If you are not fully vaccinated:
- You must still take a pre-departure test (PCR or lateral flow) within three days before travelling to the UK
- You must self-isolate for 10 days upon your arrival
- You must take a day two and day eight PCR test
- You may take an additional day five PCR test and be released from isolation early if you test negative