El Paso, TX

Texas-Mexico border set to reopen for non-essential travel on Nov. 8, with a few exceptions.

Euri Giles | Clareifi

COVID-19 related travel restrictions that limited inbound border crossings from Mexico into the U.S. have been limited to “essential travel” only since March 21, 2020.

Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

Beginning on Monday, November 8, 2021, those restrictions will be lifted to allow for non-essential, or leisure travel into the United States with a few exceptions.

Non-essential travelers over the age of 18 will be required to provide proof of vaccination, and be able to verbally attest to travel reason as well as vaccination status.

Do you agree with the decision to open the Texas-Mexico border to non-essential travelers on November 8th?

The travel restriction that are currently in place until next Monday were set to expire last month, however the U.S. government extended the non-essential travel restrictions until January 21, 2022. Next Monday's re-opening is an exemption to begin the process early for fully vaccinated individuals.

After January 21, 2022, all travelers regardless of essential or non-essential reasons will be required to be fully vaccinated to enter the U.S.

The U.S. Embassy defines non-essential travel as; “Individuals traveling for tourism purposes, such as sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events in the United States.”

Essential travel from Mexico into the United States includes:

- Citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States.

- Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States).

- Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions.

- Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada or Mexico in furtherance of such work).

- Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies).

- Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada and Mexico).

- Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel.

- Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.

In the border city of El Paso, Texas, City officials are preparing for the border re-opening of non-essential travel with an informational outreach campaign being shared to citizens in the “sister” cities of El, Paso & Juarez, Mexico. The City of El Paso provided details of the re-opening via its Twitter page stating; “The City of El Paso is prepared for the Texas-Mexico border to reopen, Mon., Nov. 8, 2021, for non-essential travelers for the first time since March 2020. For more COVID-19 information to include testing, vaccination, data and prevention, visit http://EPStrong.org.”

El Paso officials went on to state; “The border was closed for 20 months to slow the spread of COVID-19, but now with the abundance of the COVID-19 vaccine and a reduction of positive cases, the White House moved away from the country-by-country restrictions.

Individuals crossing the border must adhere to the following requirements at all ports of entry:

-- present proof of COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC website; and,

-- verbally attest to their non-essential travel and COVID-19 vaccination status.

For purposes of travel to the US, the following FDA approved/authorized vaccines & World Health Organization emergency use listed vaccines will be accepted:

- Pfizer-BioNTech

- Moderna

- Johnson and Johnson

- Oxford–AstraZeneca

- Sinopharm BIBP

- Sinovac

- Covishield

Individuals under 18-yrs-old and those engaged in essential travel will not be required to be vaccinated at this time; however, beginning in January 2022, all travelers— essential AND non-essential—must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination.”

Photo by Jorge Aguilar on Unsplash

While border cities in Texas are making preparations for the re-opening of the border for legal, non-essential travelers. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is touting the increased presence of The Texas National Guard at the southern border to serve as, “the first & last line of defense at our border.”

What do you think, Texas?

Do you agree with the decision to open the Texas-Mexico border to non-essential travelers on November 8th?

Let us hear your comments and feedback below.

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Euri Giles covers lifestyle content, politics, and news near you in Texas.

El Paso, TX

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