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Thursday, March 23, 2023

US to require vaccines for everyone crossing the border in January


WASHINGTON (AP). President Joe Biden will require major non-resident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck drivers, government officials, and emergency responders, to be fully vaccinated starting January 22, as the administration planned to announce.

A senior administration official said the requirement, which the White House presented in October, brings the rules for major travelers in line with those that went into effect earlier this month for tourists when the US reopened its borders to fully vaccinated individuals.

Major travelers arriving by ferry will also need to be fully vaccinated by the same date, the official said. The official spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity to preview the ad.

The rules apply to non-US citizens. American citizens and permanent residents can still enter the United States regardless of their vaccination status, but face additional barriers to testing because officials believe it is easier for them to contract and spread COVID-19, and to induce them get a vaccination.

The Biden administration has pushed back the major traveler requirement by more than two months from its effective November 8 for non-essential visitors to prevent disruptions, especially among truck drivers, which are vital to North American trade. Although most of the cross-border traffic was closed in the early days of the pandemic, important travelers were able to move around unhindered.

Even with the delay, however, Norita Taylor, a spokeswoman for a group of independent truck owners, criticized the vaccination demand as an example of “how unnecessary government regulations can force experienced owner-operators and independent truck drivers out of business. “

“These requirements are another example of how impractical rules can knock safe drivers off the road,” she said.

The latest deadline goes beyond where the Biden administration hopes large businesses will require their employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly, in line with a state of emergency issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The rule is now being delayed due to litigation, but the White House has called on businesses to fulfill their own mandates regardless of federal requirements in order to boost vaccinations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 47 million adults in the United States remain unvaccinated.


Associated Press author David Koenig from Dallas contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
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