Last updated on January 25, 2022
Temporary residents in Canada working in essential jobs are no longer allowed to travel to the United States unless fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) closed the door to unvaccinated foreign nationals traveling to the United States from Canada and Mexico on Saturday, January 22.
“The Department of Homeland Security will require that non-U.S. persons entering the United States through land ports of entry or ferry terminals along our northern and southern borders be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and prepared to show proof of vaccination,” Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
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“These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating cross-border trade and travel that is essential to our economy.”
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On Twitter, the move is being denounced as nothing more than politicking that will further disrupt US supply chains and make it that much harder for trucking companies to deliver goods across the border. There are concerns that could then fuel inflation in the United States.
“This will take the US supply chain crisis down from 10 to 11, and probably take the inflation crisis down from 9 to 10,” one user tweeted.
But the latest decision is far from unexpected. The United States announced its intention to do so in October last year, shortly after the US border reopened to fully vaccinated non-essential travelers.
This latest measure extends this vaccination passport requirement to all non-US travelers to the United States, including essential workers.
And that could have implications for unvaccinated temporary workers in Canada whose occupations require them to travel south of the border on a regular basis.
Those affected would include new, unvaccinated permanent residents of Canada who work in the trucking industry or in health care or who otherwise need to travel to the United States for business. This would also include international students in Canada and temporary foreign workers who may need to travel to the United States for jobs deemed essential.
Travelers entering the United States from Canada need a passport for vaccines
Non-US travelers traveling to the United States at land ports of entry or ferry terminals, whether for essential or non-essential reasons, must now:
- verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
- provide proof of a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination, as listed on the CDC’s website;
- present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document, such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program card or Enhanced Tribal Card; and,
- be prepared to present any other relevant documentation requested by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a border inspection.
Under the new requirements, travelers are not required to take a COVID-19 test to enter through a land port of entry or ferry terminal to the United States.
The new vaccination requirements do not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents of that country, or U.S. nationals, but they are required to bring a WHTI-compliant document when returning to the United States. United.
Truckers in Canada protest Ottawa vaccine passports
The US decision to deny entry even to essential workers from Canada unless they are fully vaccinated comes as Canada itself faces a backlash to its requirement that truckers present their passports vaccination when entering Canada from the United States.
A convoy of trucks is en route to Ottawa to protest the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for truckers entering Canada from the United States.
When Ottawa in November announced the new rules for unvaccinated people crossing the Canada-U.S. border, it removed the exemption from vaccine passports for groups of people previously considered to be performing essential jobs, including truck drivers.
Now, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Canadian truckers are among those required to take a PCR test outside of Canada within 72 hours of intended entry, getting tested again when they arrive at the border; then self-test during the eighth day of mandatory 14-day quarantine.