SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The border between the United States and Mexico has been closed for months, but in less than a week, it will reopen to fully vaccinated travelers.
On Tuesday morning Customs and Border Protection held a meeting to talk about logistics of reopening the border.
Clearing up the numerous concerns regarding the U.S. Border land ports entry for non-essential travelers starting Monday, Border agents detailed what will be expected of Non-U.S. citizens planning to cross:
--Have a valid passport or visa
--Proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC website either paper or electronic.
“The first step is the verbal attestation, but at any point where the officer may request it, they should have a vaccination card available to present,” said Matthew Davies, Executive Director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Davies says a negative Covid-19 test is not required, but border agents are only accepting FDA approved or World Health Organization authorized vaccines for emergency use on the CDC's website -- which include: AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac.
But what about unvaccinated minors entering the U.S from Mexico?
"Any child under the age of 18 will be exempted from the vaccination requirement, provided that they are traveling with a fully vaccinated adult," Davies said.
CBP says expect big delays at the border.
"Longer wait times as travel does increase, but we do expect to have a full complement of staffing to handle this surge as travel resumes," Davies said.
As for the Border agents themselves being fully vaccinated in compliance with the federal mandate?
Davies said, "We are laser focused on vaccinating our workforce ahead of the November 22 deadline."
Border businesses welcome the increased foot traffic after a 19-month shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the briefing, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said that adults coming into the United States for nonessential reasons should be able to attest to being vaccinated. They added that travelers should be able to present proof of vaccination upon request. However, this vaccination policy doesn’t apply to people who are United States citizens coming back into the country.
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