DHS extends non-essential travel restrictions until January 21 for unvaccinated travelers

Cancellation of travel ban for fully vaccinated Mexicans still in effect for November 8

Commuters wait in traffic on the Paso del Norte Bridge as they enter El Paso, Texas from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on Tuesday, August 6, 2019. Days after the El Paso attack, the Community leaders from Ciudad Juarez have not spoken of boycotting the city which relies heavily on Mexican buyers. Rather, in the days that followed, Mexicans filled international bridges to jobs, stores, and schools as always. (AP Photo / Christian Chavez)

EL PASO, Texas (Border report) – The US government has extended non-essential travel restrictions, which were due to expire Thursday evening, until January 21, 2022.

However, the announcement published on Thursday afternoon in the federal register makes it clear that the Homeland Security Secretary intends to exempt people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The notice does not mention the exemption date for the fully vaccinated, but the White House told reporters earlier that it would be November 8.

“This notification announces the secretary’s decision to continue to temporarily restrict non-essential travel of people from Mexico to the United States at land entry points along the (border)” to those who are not vaccinated, the notification.

DHS says the changes align land ports with policies already in place at airports.

The restrictions were implemented in March 2020 to reduce the cross-border spread of COVID-19. They included tourism and shopping, but made exceptions for commerce, legitimate business travel, and education, among others. Returning US citizens and lawful permanent residents were also able to return to the country.

Thursday’s notification authorizes U.S. customs and border protection officials to continue enforcing the travel ban on people who are unvaccinated and who are not coming to the United States on essential business. In January, everyone, including those traveling for essential purposes, must be fully immunized, the White House said earlier.

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