U.S.-Canada border crossing in Sweet Grass, Montana

A U.S.-Canada border crossing in Sweet Grass, Montana.

Nonessential travel will resume next month at the U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico after a 19-month halt.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States had limited entry to only those with essential reasons such as trade. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the new rules Tuesday.

“Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our broader economy," said DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. "We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner.”

How will it work? Border officials will ask legal foreign travelers seeking entry into the United States by vehicle, ferry, or rail, about their vaccination status and may verify the documents at their discretion.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would accept other vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization. Canada, which began allowing entry to fully vaccinated U.S. travelers in August, widely uses AstraZeneca.

Similar restrictions will also begin in November for air travelers, who still have to show a negative COVID-19 test.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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