Beginning Saturday, Travelers Entering US By Land, Ferries Must Be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Starting Jan. 22, vaccination requirements will apply to all travelers to the U.S. entering through ports of entry and ferry terminals


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that on Jan. 22, it will start requiring non-U.S. individuals entering the US by land ports of entry or ferry terminals at U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination.

DHS said these new restrictions will not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or U.S. nationals.

“These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.

What to expect during cross-border travel

Non-U.S. individuals traveling to the U.S. whether for essential or non-essential reasons, must:

  • verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • provide proof of  a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccination, which includes the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines used in the U.S. as well as most used overseas, such as AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Covishield, BIBP/Sinopharm and Sinovac.
  • present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program Card, or Enhanced Tribal Card;
  • be prepared to present any other relevant documents requested by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a border inspection, and
  • meet all other existing requirements for entry not related to COVID-19.

DHS said COVID-19 testing is not required for entry via land or ferry ports of entry.

NBC 7 Border Traffic Module

Download the NBC 7 app for Apple or Android, or the Telemundo 20 app for Apple or Android, to track wait times at the border in real-time. You can also get the latest wait times on the homepage of and Just scroll down to the Border Traffic module.

Non-essential travel resumed on Nov. 8 at the U.S.-Mexico border ending a 19-month freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S.-Mexico border is lifting non-essential travel restrictions, with international visitors required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
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