US extends COVID vaccination rule for international travelers at land borders

U.S. extends COVID vaccination rule for international travelers at land borders

International travelers who arrive in the United States through land ports or ferry terminals will still need to show they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, U.S. officials said Thursday.

But unlike visitors flying into the country, these travelers will not need to show a negative COVID-19 test, something which did not change with the announcement. They will only need to show a vaccination record from a government health agency along with their passports and other travel documents.

Vaccines that will allow someone to gain entry include two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, at least two weeks after receipt of the second shot, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Someone who has received a different vaccine, but one that is listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization, will also be considered fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This continues a decision made in November to lift at land borders with Canada and Mexico for travelers who have been fully vaccinated.

For , which the announcement didn't apply to, travelers ages 2 and up must still show a negative COVID test taken the day before their flight, even if they're vaccinated or are U.S. citizens. People who have tested positive in the past 90 days may still travel despite a recent positive test, if they have a signed letter from a licensed health care provider or a public health official saying they have been cleared for travel.

The land border and ferry decision was made after discussions among several federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the CDC, The New York Times reported.

Trade and travel are "essential to our economic security," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas explained in a statement.

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.

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