US to require everyone who crosses the border to get vaxxed

 Motorists wait in line to cross the border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on November 8, 2021 in Tijuana, Mexico. Monday was the official opening of the border to non-essential visitors as COVID restrictions eased. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Motorists wait in line to cross the border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on November 8, 2021 in Tijuana, Mexico. Monday was the official opening of the border to non-essential visitors as COVID restrictions eased. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images) Photo credit Getty Images

All essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 22, said a Wednesday report from The Associated Press.

According to the outlet, the administration is expected to announce the new requirement from President Joe Biden. As of Wednesday, there was no announcement about the requirement on the White House website.

An official spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity to preview the announcement, said the outlet.

The rule only applies to non-residents – all U.S. citizens and permanent residents may enter the country regardless of their vaccination status. However, unvaccinated U.S. citizens will face additional testing hurdles.

Essential non-resident travelers entering the U.S. by ferry will also be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 22, said the official who spoke to the AP.

This official said the new rule for essential workers would bring requirements for essential travelers in line with those that took effect Nov. 8 for leisure travelers. In pushing back the due-date for essential travelers, the administration hoped to prevent further supply chain disruptions, as there has been a shortage of truck drivers that are integral to North American trade.

Norita Taylor, spokeswoman for the trucking group Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, criticized the new vaccination requirement, calling it an example of “how unnecessary government mandates can force experienced owner-operators and independent truckers out of business,” said the AP.

Another vaccination mandate from the Biden administration calling for large employers to make sure their employees are vaccinated has been stalled by litigation.

As of Tuesday, 59 percent of the U.S. population was fully vaccinated and around 69 percent had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.