The U.S.-Mexico border will reopen to land traffic for non-essential travelers in early November, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcel Ebrard said Friday, following more than a year of closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Last night, Secretary Mayorkas confirmed to me that normal activities will resume in the first days of November,” Ebrard said in a statement Friday.
“Land and air travel to the United States will be allowed for vaccinated individuals,” he added.
The ability to travel across the U.S.-Mexico border will depend on vaccination, which is why “in addition, of course, to saving the lives of Mexicans, the President has emphasized accelerating the vaccination process,” Ebrard said.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas also announced on Tuesday the upcoming reopenings of both the Canadian and Mexican borders in November for travelers fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with appropriate documentation.
“In alignment with the new international air travel system that will be implemented in November, we will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings,” Mayorkas said in a statement.
“Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our broader economy. We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner,” he added.
The border reopening is scheduled to take place in two phases. In November, CBP will begin allowing fully vaccinated travelers from Mexico or Canada to enter the United States with appropriate travel paperwork.
In January 2022, all inbound foreign travelers, including those from outside of Mexico and Canada, will be included, according to the statement by Mayorkas. The phased reopening is designed to offer time for essential workers, including truck drivers, students, healthcare workers, and other travelers to complete full vaccination status.
The reopening should be an economic advantage to some American border cities. Some locations have experienced a decline in business during the pandemic closures, as workers and tourists from Mexico were a major part of local businesses.
The news also comes as COVID-19 positive cases have declined among many of America’s border communities. The weekly San Diego COVID-19 watch report last week (pdf) noted average daily cases have dropped from 524 to 432 cases.
In addition, COVID-19 vaccination rates have continued to increase nationwide. In San Diego County, those 12 years old or older who have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine surpassed 80 percent (pdf).