The Biden administration is expected to require essential, foreign travelers crossing U.S. borders, such as truck drivers and government officials, to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 22, a White House official said Wednesday.
The administration announced earlier this fall that foreigners traveling for leisure who were barred from coming to the U.S. during the pandemic could enter the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if fully vaccinated, and said a similar requirement would be extended to essential travelers in January.
The specific date for when the requirement for essential non-U.S. travelers would go into effect had previously been unknown.
American citizens and permanent residents will still be allowed to enter the U.S. even if unvaccinated, but will continue to need to be tested beforehand.
Unlike international leisure travelers, essential non-resident travelers had been able to enter the U.S. during the pandemic regardless of vaccination status. The White House delayed the requirement for the essential workers to allow more time to get vaccinated and not disrupt trade.
The vaccine requirement will apply to essential foreign workers entering the U.S. by land or ferry. The White House official said more details would be released in the coming weeks, but the approach would be similar to that being applied to non-essential foreign travelers.