The U.S. requires vaccinations for all transit passengers in January

The U.S. government plans to announce on Tuesday that President Joe Biden will require that essential non-resident travelers crossing the U.S. land border, such as truck drivers, governments, and emergency response officials, be fully vaccinated from January 22.

A senior administration official said the White House previewed the request in October to align the basic traveler rules with those that took effect for leisure travellers earlier this month, when the United States reopened its borders to fully vaccinated individuals.

The official said that basic passengers entering the country by ferry will also be required to be fully vaccinated before the same day. The official spoke with the Associated Press on condition of anonymity to preview the announcement.

These rules apply to non-U.S. nationals. Whether vaccinated or not, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can still enter the United States, but face additional testing barriers because officials believe they are more likely to contract and spread COVID-19 and encourage them to get vaccinated.

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Since coming into effect on November 8, the Biden government has delayed the request for essential travelers for more than two months to prevent interference with non-essential tourists, especially truck drivers, who are vital to North American trade. Although most cross-border traffic was closed in the first few days of the pandemic, important passengers were still able to pass unhindered.

According to emergency regulations issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the Biden administration hopes that large companies require their employees to be vaccinated or tested every week, but the late deadline has exceeded the Biden administration’s hopes. The rule is now postponed due to litigation, but the White House encourages companies to disregard federal requirements to perform their tasks to promote vaccination.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 47 million adults in the United States are still unvaccinated.

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