HOUSTON — Why could lifting of border restrictions be a big boon for everywhere from Texas to New York?
The Biden administration has announced it’s lifting travel restrictions at the Canada and Mexico border. Starting in November, vaccinated people will once again be able to cross the borders.
The borders had been blocked since March of 2020 to everyone but essential travelers, basically commercial truck drivers and students. While they are still allowed to cross, starting in January they will have to show proof of vaccination.
According to pandemic watchers, the lifting on restrictions marks a new phase, signaling that the U.S. is now open for business. Travelers will now be able to cross the border to visit family and shop. And that can make a big impact for Texas retailers, especially during the holiday shopping season.
According to USA Today, Mexican residents typically account for around 4.5 billion sales in the Lone Star State. Those sales are all across the state, impacting stores from El Paso to Houston.
There are still some questions about how many travelers from Mexico will be allowed in. Part of the problem is the vaccines they have received. Many got either Russia’s or China’s vaccine, which do not have authorization from the World Health Organization. Officials told the New York Times they are still discussing which shots will get you across the border.
Opening of the border for vaccinated people
The U.S. will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the country moves to require all international visitors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Vehicle, rail and ferry travel between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to essential travel, such as trade, since the earliest days of the pandemic. The new rules, announced Wednesday, will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason for travel starting in early November, when a similar easing of restrictions is set to kick in for air travel into the country. By mid-January, even essential travelers seeking to enter the U.S., like truck drivers, will need to be fully vaccinated.