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11.24.21 COVID-19 Bulletin: Biden to Mandate Vaccine for Nonresident Essential Border Crossers

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Josh Veronica

November 24, 2021

The Biden administration plans to mandate that by January 22, essential non-American travelers entering the U.S. by land must be vaccinated, the Associated Press reports 

The U.S. already requires vaccination for non-essential travelers – people coming to America for vacation, shopping, or other personal affairs. However, throughout the pandemic, essential travelers have not had a vaccine requirement, provided that they follow other pandemic protocols.  

According to the U.S. government, the following purposes constitute an “essential” border crossing: 

  • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the U.S. 
  • Work  
  • Cross-border trade  
  • Medical treatment 
  • Education 
  • Emergency/public health response 
  • Government/diplomacy/military 

 The rule is only expected to apply to non-U.S.-nationals, although unvaccinated American travelers may still face heightened testing requirements when crossing the border.  

Organizations whose operations or supply chains rely on cross-border travel should pay particular attention to this announcement and prepare accordingly.  

An administration official told AP that this move was coming, but the White House has not yet released a formal announcement or policy. The BNP will share formal details once they are released.  

As the U.S. grapples with supply chain disruptions, the BNP is particularly concerned about a policy that would reduce the availability of commercial transportation workers and further disrupt the flow of cross-border commerce.   

The BNP continues to advocate for a reciprocal border policy that allows for a freer flow of traffic between the U.S. and Canada.  

 

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