US will need COVID-19 vaccines for all border crossings

President Joe Biden requires essential, non-resident travelers crossing US land borders, such as truck drivers, government officials, and emergency services, to be complete vaccinated as of January 22, the government planned to announce this.

AN senior official of the administration said the requirement, which the White House previewed in October, would bring rules for essential travelers into line with those that came into effect for vacationers earlier this month, when the US reopened its borders to fully vaccinated individuals.

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Essential travelers arriving by ferry must also be fully vaccinated by the same date, the official said. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to preview the announcement.

BURLINGTON, IA – AUGUST 07: Then Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden makes comments about white nationalism during a campaign press conference on August 7, 2019 in Burlington, Iowa.
(Tom Brenner/Getty Images)

The rules apply to non-US citizens. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can still enter the U.S. regardless of their vaccination status, but face additional testing hurdles as officials believe they contract and spread more easily COVID-19 and to encourage them to take a shot.

Biden’s administration has scaled back the requirement for essential travelers by more than two months from when it came into effect on Nov. 8 for non-essential visitors to avoid disruptions, especially among truck drivers vital to North American trade. Although most cross-border traffic was shut down in the earliest days of the pandemic, essential travelers were able to continue unimpeded.

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Even with the delay, Norita Taylor, spokeswoman for the trucking group Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, criticized the vaccination requirement, calling it an example of “how unnecessary government mandates can force experienced owner-operators and independent truck drivers to leave their businesses.”

“These requirements are another example of how impractical regulations will send safe drivers off the road,” she said.

The latest deadline is past the point where the Biden administration hopes major corporations should have their employees vaccinated or… tested weekly on the basis of an emergency regulation issued by the Arbodienst. That rule has now been delayed by dispute, but the White House has encouraged companies to carry out their own mandates, regardless of the federal requirement, with the aim of boosting vaccination.

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About 47 million adults in the US remain unvaccinated, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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