SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — In less than a week, new guidelines will be in effect for travelers entering the United States through ports of entry and ferry terminals.

Starting Nov. 8, people crossing the border with tourist visas will be given access to the U.S. if they can prove they are fully vaccinated.

The new policy eliminates most restrictions on non-essential travel that were put in place back in March 2020.

“We are pleased to take another step toward easing travel restrictions at our borders in a manner that strengthens our economy and protects the health and safety of the American public,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We continue working closely with our international partners to sustainably implement new rules for resuming travel.”

According to DHS, those who aren’t U.S. citizens or permanent residents arriving at a port of entry or ferry terminal, should be “prepared to:

  • Provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website;
  • Verbally attest to their reason for travel and COVID-19 vaccination status during a border inspection.”

If requested by a CBP officer, people must provide vaccine documentation either on paper or in digital form.

Those who are 17 and younger don’t have to show proof if traveling with a fully-vaccinated adult.

CBP also stated any non-citizen attempting to enter the United States through illegal means or without appropriate documentation may be subject to expulsion or removal. 

The essential travel restrictions were instituted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and limited travel along the U.S. northern and southern borders to essential travel, including travel for lawful trade, emergency response, and public health purposes.

CBP is warning that as travel resumes, wait times at pedestrian and vehicle crossings are expected to increase and visitors should plan for longer than normal wait times.

Patience is stressed.

As a way to help reduce wait times and long lines, CBP suggests travelers take advantage of innovative technology, such as facial biometrics and the CBP One™ mobile application, which serves as a single portal for individuals to access CBP mobile applications and services.

Starting in January 2022, all inbound foreign national travelers seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry or ferry terminals – whether for essential or non-essential reasons – must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination.