CBP officials hold briefing as border ports prepare to reopen for nonessential travel

State & Regional

Editor’s note: This article was updated with details from the press conference.

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be having a press conference Friday morning on land border ports reopening to nonessential travel to those that are fully vaccinated.

On November 8, land border ports will allow travel from residents of Canada and Mexico that are fully vaccinated.

Non-citizen travelers should be prepared to verbally attest to having received the COVID-19 vaccine and the reason for travel to the United States. Vaccine documentation will not be required.

Starting January 2022, all travelers entering the U.S. for essential and non-essential travel must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and must provide proof of vaccination.

CBP continues to stress that the border is not open to illegal crossings and those who do so are subject to expulsion or removal. Those traveling should provide appropriate documentation upon CBP request.

“Our borders are not open and people should not make the dangerous trip. Individuals and families are subject to border restrictions including expulsion.”

Restrictions on border travel were put in place on March 20, 2020, and were extended every month as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between countries.

Easing restrictions is welcomed by border communities that have been economically hard hit during the pandemic by not being able to receive revenue from Mexican shoppers. 

“While the rest of the country was reopening after the first months of the pandemic the border communities have not been allowed to do that,” said Eddie Treviño Jr., Cameron County Judge and Chairman of the Texas Border Coalition in a previous interview with ValleyCentral.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez is optimistic it will bring more traffic to our area and help the businesses that are still standing, stating reopening the ports of entry is good news for the community. 

“I think you are going to see many industries see the increase in revenues now that this is available,” said Cortez.

Vaccination requirements will apply to not only land and seaports, but also to all foreign air travelers coming into the United States, White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz said.

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