COVID vaccination required for foreign travelers entering US by land, ferry

Foreign travelers must show proof of vaccination status to enter US from Canada, Mexico

The Blue Water Maiden statue stands at the base of the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Mich., which connects to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Beginning Saturday, Jan. 22, individuals who are traveling into the United States by land or by ferry will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated for COVID, unless they are a U.S. citizen.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is now requiring travelers entering the U.S. from the Canadian or Mexican borders to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in an effort to protect public health. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and U.S. nationals will not be required to show proof of vaccination to enter the U.S. by land or ferry.

DHS officials say the new restrictions apply to both essential and non essential travel. Land and ferry travelers will not be required to test for COVID-19 in order to enter the U.S., officials said.

When entering the country at the U.S.-Mexico or U.S.-Canada borders, non U.S. travelers will be required to do the following, as listed by the DHS:

  • verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • provide proof of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the CDC 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 documents requested by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a border inspection.

“Although these new vaccination requirements do not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or U.S. nationals, all travelers are reminded to bring a WHTI-compliant document when re-entering the United States,” officials said Thursday.

U.S. individuals are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result before entering the U.S. by plane. Non U.S. citizens must be fully vaccinated for the virus to enter the country by air.

Learn more about air travel requirements from the CDC here.

Related: Canada changes vaccinated traveler requirements: Canadians returning from short trips must take COVID test

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.