El Paso CBP Officials Dispel Border Opening Rumors

EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection is again reminding the public that on November 8 only those fully vaccinated foreign nationals with appropriate and valid entry documents will be permitted to cross into the U.S. from Mexico at land border crossings for non-essential reasons. These travelers are required to be prepared to attest to vaccination status and to present proof of vaccination to a CBP officer upon request. This change does not apply to anyone else.

“We are hearing about rumors circulating on social media and elsewhere that this change applies to anyone. I can assure you it does not,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha. “It is vitally important that members of the public only consult official government sources the most accurate and reliable information related to the November 8 changes.”

Information about these changes to the travel restrictions are available from the DHS press release and Fact Sheet

CBP is also again asking for preparedness and patience as travelers are able to take advantage of the first stage of re-opening following pandemic travel restrictions. 

Given the growing volume of travel, border crossers should take into account longer than normal wait times and long lines at our land border in the days ahead. CBP asks that travelers to exercise patience as the agency embarks on further reopening cross border travel. 

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Travelers can monitor border wait times online. Information is updated hourly to include wait times for SENTRI, Ready, and non-Ready lanes. The number of open lanes is also updated hourly. 

For the ports of entry along the U.S/Mexico border, CBP officials are suggesting the following steps that travelers can take to try and help speed processing for entry into the U.S.:

Beginning in March 2020, to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, travel across the land border into the U.S. has been restricted to essential travel only.  While U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents of the U.S. were able to cross the border, travel by visa holders from other nations was not permitted for non-essential reasons, such as tourism or family visits. 

By January, foreign nationals traveling across the land border for both essential and non-essential reasons will be required to be fully vaccinated.  This includes individuals who have previously been crossing the border for essential travel, such as work or medical appointments.  U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents of the U.S. will not be required to provide proof of vaccination when crossing into the U.S. The requirements also do not apply to those ages 17 and under.

Information about what is acceptable as proof of vaccination, including which vaccines are permissible, is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers | CDC.  Please note that to be considered fully vaccinated, 14 days must have passed since your final shot for your vaccine. 

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.