The U.S. Now Requires Cross-border Truck Drivers to Be Vaccinated for COVID-19

The U.S. Now Requires Cross-border Truck Drivers to Be Vaccinated for COVID-19

On Jan. 20, 2022, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released requirements for non-U.S. individual travellers who arrive via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes cross-border truck drivers. These requirements went into effect on Jan. 22, 2022.

The new vaccination requirements do not apply to U.S. citizens, permanent residents or U.S. nationals. These updated travel requirements reflect the government’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating cross-border trade and travel critical to the national economy. This article provides more information on the latest requirements and outlines a list of exemptions.

What to Expect

As travel resumes again, wait times at international borders are expected to be longer. With this in mind, travellers are encouraged to use the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) One mobile application, which serves as a single portal for individuals to access CBP services.

Requirements for Non-U.S. Travellers

In order to enter the United States, non-U.S. travellers must:

  • Attest verbally to their COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • Provide proof of obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination that has been approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-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 CBP officer during a border inspection.

It’s important to note that COVID-19 testing is not currently required for entry into the U.S. via a land or ferry port of entry.

Requirement Exemptions

While most non-U.S. individuals planning to enter the United States will need to be vaccinated, the DHS and CDC have determined a narrow list of exemptions, including:

  • Individuals within certain categories on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • Individuals with medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Individuals who have been issued a humanitarian or emergency exception by the Secretary of the DHS
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as their spouses and children (those under 18 years of age)
  • Individuals whose entry would be in the country’s national interest, as determined by the Secretary of the DHS

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