On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced that all non-residential travelers to the US who come for work or essential services must be fully vaccinated from Jan. 22.

The said rule applies to all essential travelers in line with the rule that took effect earlier this month for leisure travelers when the U.S. reopened its borders to fully vaccinated individuals. This category will include working professionals like truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, daily wage workers etc.

According to a White House official who spoke to AP about the new rule, essential travelers entering by ferry will also be required to be fully vaccinated by the same date.

Source: NBC Chicago (Getty Images)

The rules pertain to non-U.S. nationals. American citizens and permanent residents may still enter the U.S. regardless of their vaccination status, but face additional testing hurdles because officials believe they more easily contract and spread COVID-19 and in order to encourage them to get a shot.

The NAFSA website currently reads, “Starting November 8, when arriving at a U.S. land POE or ferry terminal, non-citizen travelers should be prepared to:

  • 1. present proof of COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC website; and,
  • 2. verbally attest to their non-essential travel and COVID-19 vaccination status.

Individuals engaged in essential travel will not be required to be vaccinated at this time. Starting in January 2022, however, all inbound foreign national travelers crossing U.S. land POEs or ferry terminals – whether for essential or non-essential reasons – must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination.”

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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