Canadians now have to be fully vaccinated to cross the U.S. land border

A new requirement for all non-Americans entering the United States at a land border to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has come into effect.

The policy, first announced in October 2021, began Saturday and applies to land ports of entry at the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders, as well as those entering at ferry terminals.

Those wishing to enter the U.S., whether for essential or non-essential reasons, will need to show proof of vaccination. A COVID-19 test is not required.

"These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

The changes do not apply to U.S. citizens, permanent residents or U.S. nationals.

Although testing is not required at land ports of entry and ferry terminals, the U.S. does require that foreign air travellers be fully vaccinated and either provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or a document showing they recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.

Non-U.S. individuals travelling to the country at a land port of entry or ferry terminal must verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status, provide proof of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-approved COVID-19 vaccination, and a document such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program card or Enhanced Tribal Card.

Travellers also should be prepared to show any other relevant documents that may be requested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, the Department of Homeland Security advises.