City provides requirements for non-essential travelers as U.S.-Mexico border reopens

National News

Commuters wait in traffic on the Paso del Norte bridge, as they enter El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Days after the attack in El Paso, community leaders in Ciudad Juarez didn’t talk of boycotting the city that depends heavily on Mexican shoppers. On the contrary, in the following days Mexicans have packed the international bridges going to jobs, stores and schools like always. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Non-essential travelers crossing the U.S.-Mexican border must provide proof of vaccination and must verbally attest to their non-essential travel, city officials said Wednesday.

The City of El Paso is preparing for the U.S.-Mexican border to reopen November 8 for non-essential travelers for the first time since March 2020.

“In anticipation of the reopening of the border we have consistently been in communication with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to be fully prepared for the increase in crossings. We are also in close coordination with our Police Department to ensure that we have enhanced traffic control plans to better manage congestion near the ports of entry…We strive to keep our community safe and will ensure to have extra CBP officers so that the agency can have additional lanes open during peak and help stabilize wait times as we enter into this new phased reopening.”

David Coronado, Managing Director of International Bridges and Economic Development.

Individuals crossing the border must adhere to the following requirements when crossing the border into the U.S. at all ports of entry:

  • present proof of COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC website; and,
  • verbally attest to their non-essential travel and COVID-19 vaccination status.

The CDC has determined that for purposes of travel to the United States, vaccines accepted will include current FDA-approved or authorized vaccines and World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listed vaccines. To date, there are currently seven vaccines that meet the CDC’s requirements, including:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca
  • Sinopharm BIBP
  • Sinovac
  • Covishield

Individuals 18 years of age and those engaged in essential travel will not be required to be vaccinated at this time; however, beginning in January 2022, all travelers—whether for essential or non-essential reasons—must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination.

The Texas-Mexico border was closed for 20 months to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but now with the abundance of the COVID-19 vaccine and a reduction of positive cases, the White House moved away from the country-by-country restrictions, city officials said.

For more COVID-19 information on testing, vaccination, data and prevention, visit EPStrong.org.

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