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Conclusion of vaccination requirements for travelers to the United States

The restrictions will end “at the end of the day on May 11, the same day as the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency”. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration says the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for foreign travelers on airplanes and at the Canada-U.S. border will be lifted starting May 12.

The day before, May 11, 2020 would mark the end of the US-imposed COVID-19 emergency as the world began to come to grips with the scale of the pandemic.

New York Rep. Brian Higgins, a vocal advocate for easing border restrictions, hailed the news as a win for families, tourists and border communities.

Canada ended its own vaccination requirements for foreign visitors in October.

However, the US continued to require federal government employees, contractors and most international airline passengers to show proof of vaccination.

The White House says that global COVID-19 deaths are at their lowest level since the start of the pandemic and are 95% lower in the United States than they were in January 2021.

“We are at a different stage in our response to COVID-19 than when many of these requirements were implemented,” the administration said in a statement.

The restrictions will end “at the end of the day on May 11, the same day as the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency”.

Title 42, a controversial measure that gives the United States the power to summarily deny entry to asylum seekers based on a public health emergency, also ends at the same time.

The White House report left land border restrictions, known as Title 19, to the Department of Homeland Security (DSH), which quickly followed with its own report.

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“As of May 12, 2023, DHS will no longer require non-U.S. travelers entering the United States through ports of entry and ferry terminals to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and will no longer require proof of vaccination upon request. .

“Consistent with the conclusion of a public health emergency and the end of the President’s air travel proclamation, DHS intends to rescind these Title 19 travel restrictions.”

President Joe Biden had previously indicated when the emergency measures would expire, but Mr Higgins said he was not sure the changes would extend to the Canada-US land border.

But now that it’s clear they will, he said, it’s time to celebrate.

“For more than three years now, there have been restrictions on cross-border travel. It is tearing families apart and hampering economic recovery,” he said in a statement.