The U.S.-Mexico border. Photo: Deposit Photos

By KELIN DILLON

After 19 months, the land border between the United States and Mexico will open for non-essential travel on Monday, Nov. 8, to people fully inoculated against covid-19 with vaccines approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).

Travelers from Mexico will be able to enter the United States without presenting a negative covid test at the time, instead simply showing their vaccination paperwork. Unvaccinated persons will remain barred from traveling to the United States for all nonessential purposes.

Unvaccinated minors will be allowed to enter the United States when accompanied by their vaccinated parents.

“During the primary interaction with a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the border, the traveler will be asked about their vaccination status,” said a U.S. official. “At the discretion of CBP officers, some people will be sent to secondary inspection to verify that they have their vaccination documents.”

While Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac are all expected to be acceptable vaccinations for entry, the Russian Sputnik V and Chinese CanSino, two of the most prevalently administered vaccines in Mexico, have neither CDC nor WHO approval and will likely not be allowed for non-essential travel, a move several experts criticized as “discriminatory.”

Representatives for the United States indicated that these new measures would only be implemented for legal travelers and not applicable to undocumented migrants.

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