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U.S. to reopen border to fully vaccinated Canadians on Nov. 8

·3 min read
U.S. to reopen border to fully vaccinated Canadians on Nov. 8

Canadians wanting to cross into the United States should mark Nov. 8 on their calendars. 

A White House official confirmed on Friday that the U.S. will reopen its land borders to fully vaccinated Canadians starting on Nov. 8. 

White House assistant press secretary Kevin Munoz said on Twitter that the government's vaccination requirement, which applies to both international air and land travel, will begin on Nov. 8, saying "this policy is guided by public health, stringent and consistent." 

The long-awaited reopening of the U.S. border to fully vaccinated Canadians will come three months after Canada reopened its borders to fully vaccinated Americans, and more than 18 months after borders were shut due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

U.S. Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced earlier this week that the government would begin allowing travellers from Mexico and Canada to enter the U.S. for non-essential purposes, but did not disclose an exact date. 

Mayorkas said travellers will be required to show appropriate paperwork that provides proof of vaccination, and those who have not been fully vaccinated will not be allowed to travel for non-essential purposes.

In order to be considered fully vaccinated, travellers must have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization. That includes Oxford-AstraZeneca, a vaccine used in Canada that never received FDA approval but was cleared by the WHO. However, it's unclear whether people who received mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be considered fully vaccinated by the U.S. administration.

New York Rep. Brian Higgins, who has pushed the U.S. government to reopen its border to Canada, wrote a letter to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) seeking "a clear answer" as to whether Canadians with mixed doses will be considered fully vaccinated. 

"The uncertainty facing American border communities and millions of Canadians can be immediately resolved by clear guidance from the CDC on which vaccines will be accepted by customs and border officials, as well as if mixed doses will count towards those requirements," Higgins wrote.  

While the land border is reopening, Canada so far still requires Canadians returning from the U.S. provide a negative molecular COVID-19 test.

Canada's Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Thursday that the PCR test requirement is still in effect and did not say whether the government is considering lifting it.

"Our government has been throughout the pandemic thoughtful about working with our public health authorities, working with scientists, working with doctors and our measures have been flexible and have adapted to changing circumstances," Freeland told reporters in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. 

"That, of course, will continue to be the case." 

With files from the Canadian Press

Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.

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