(CNN) — More good news for travelers clamoring to enter the United States came Tuesday with the announcement that land borders with Canada and Mexico will reopen to fully vaccinated visitors in November.
The new policy aligns closely with new U.S. rules on international air travel announced Sept. 20.
Both measures are due to come into force in November, although no specific date has been announced.
The plans relax or tighten existing rules, depending on the country an international traveler is arriving from and their vaccination status.
Here’s what we know so far about what the new policies will mean:
Visitors from Mexico and Canada will soon be able to enter by land and by ferry
Land and ferry ports of entry will soon be open for tourism, visiting friends and family and other non-essential travel, provided visitors are fully immunized. There will be no testing requirement, senior administration officials said.
This is the first phase of the new policy, which is due to come into effect in November.
People traveling for essential reasons (students and truck drivers, for example) will still be able to cross borders, regardless of their vaccination status, until the beginning of January 2022. On this date, a vaccination obligation will come into force for all travelers incoming foreigners arriving by land and by ferry.
Currently, air travel from Mexico and Canada to the United States is permitted, with a negative covid-19 test. Things will get stricter for foreign arrivals in November, when a vaccination requirement for all international air travelers is put in place.
The rules for unvaccinated children are not yet clear
The Department of Homeland Security’s announcement regarding the land borders of Mexico and Canada does not include children, many of whom are not eligible to receive vaccines.
Air travel rules for unvaccinated children are also unclear, although unvaccinated Americans can still travel to the United States by air, with stricter testing.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Sept. 20 that those rules would “obviously apply to children at this point as well.”
It is unclear whether the same rules would apply to unvaccinated children in other countries. CNN has requested clarification from the Department of Homeland Security.
The door is finally opening for people in countries affected by travel bans
Travel bans put in place at the start of the pandemic through presidential proclamations prohibit foreign nationals from China, Iran, the European Schengen area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Brazil , South Africa and India.
For the first time in over a year in many cases, vaccinated foreign nationals who have been in these countries within 14 days of entering the United States will soon be able to enter with proof of vaccination and a COVID-19 test. negative taken three days before your flight.
Unvaccinated travelers from other countries will no longer be allowed
Currently, a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recent recovery from COVID-19 allows entry into the United States for unvaccinated international air travelers who have not been impacted by travel bans.
New rules due in November will require adult foreigners to show proof of vaccination and a negative covid-19 test result taken up to three days before their flight.
Thus, the door to the United States seems to be closing on unvaccinated travelers from other countries.
As mentioned above, entry of unvaccinated travelers crossing into the United States from Canada and Mexico by land or ferry for essential reasons will be permitted until January, when the vaccination requirement s will apply to all incoming foreign nationals.
Unvaccinated US citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter
Unvaccinated Americans are the exception, at least for air travel.
They will be “subject to stricter testing requirements”, including a test carried out a day before their flight departs for the United States and an additional test when they return, said Jeff Zients, co-ordinator of the Covid-19 response. 19 from the White House, during the announcement of the new rules on international air travel on September 20.
The announcement of Mexico and Canada’s land borders on October 12 was not specifically directed at unvaccinated Americans, but the vaccination requirement is directed at “incoming foreign travelers.”
The CDC defines the meaning of “fully vaccinated”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers people to be “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.
Certain vaccines not yet approved for use in the United States will be accepted for travel.
“Last week, to help them prepare their systems, we advised airlines that vaccines that are cleared/approved by the FDA or listed for emergency use by the WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the United States. United,” they told the CDC in a statement. statement. “The CDC will release additional guidance and information as travel requirements are finalized later this month.”
The agency did not respond to specific questions about land borders or combined vaccinations (receiving one dose of two different vaccines), which Canada and other countries have offered.
All international air travelers will be required to provide contact tracing information
The CDC is set to issue a contact tracing order that “will require airlines to collect complete contact information for every passenger arriving in the United States and to promptly provide this information to the CDC, upon request, to track travelers who have been exposed to variants of covid-19 or other pathogens,” Psaki said Sept. 20.
The agency has yet to provide additional details on this order.
Americans can travel to Canada and Mexico
Canada recently opened its land border, as well as air access, to vaccinated international travellers.
Mexico allowed foreign arrivals by air during the pandemic without testing or proof of vaccination.
CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez, Julia Buckley, Kevin Liptak, Arlette Saenz, Betsy Klein and Paula Newton contributed to this report.