President Joe Biden’s administration plans to require nonresident travelers crossing U.S. borders, such as emergency and government officials and truck drivers, to get the COVID vaccine beginning January 22.

According to a senior administration official, the requirement, which the White House first announced in October, aligns the rules for essential travelers with those that went into effect earlier this month for leisure travelers when the United States reopened its borders to fully vaccinated individuals.

Passengers who use the ferry to enter will also have to comply with the rule. On the condition of anonymity, the official spoke to The Associated Press ahead of the announcement.

Non-US citizens are subject to the rules. Citizens and permanent residents of the United States are still allowed to enter the country regardless of their vaccination status, but they will be subjected to additional testing because officials believe they are more likely to spread COVID-19 and to encourage them to get vaccinated.

To avoid inconveniences, the Biden administration put back the requirement for essential passengers by more than two months from when it went into force on November 8 for non-essential visits. This is especially important for truck drivers, who are critical to North American trade.

Even though most cross-border traffic was shut down in the early days of the pandemic, essential travelers were able to travel freely.

As of now, it appears international travelers are already facing a requirement.


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