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Feds announce vaccination requirement for non-residents crossing US ports of entry

The Department of Homeland Security will require proof of full vaccination from non-U.S. individuals entering the country beginning on Jan. 22.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Editor's note: The video above is from an earlier newscast.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Thursday that non-U.S. citizens coming into the country via ports of entry will be required to prove full vaccination status starting on Jan. 22. 

As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, people entering land ports and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico border and U.S.-Canada border will need to be fully vaccinated in instances of both essential and non-essential travel. 

The restrictions, first proposed in October 2021, will not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals.

The decision was made in compliance with the federal government as well as the Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

At the time of attempted entry, non-U.S. individuals will be asked to: 

  • Verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • Provide proof of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the CDC website;
  • Present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, or Enhanced Tribal Card; and,
  • Be prepared to present any other relevant documents requested by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a border inspection.

While proof of vaccination will be required, COVID-19 antigen testing will not be required. 

For more information, travelers can review the DHS fact sheet.

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