Essential, nonresident travelers crossing US land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, will have to be fully vaccinated beginning Jan. 22, the US administration is expected to announce Tuesday.
The requirement brings the rules for essential travelers in line with those that took effect earlier this month for leisure travelers.
Essential travelers entering by ferry will also be required to be fully vaccinated by the same date, the official was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.
The rules are basically for non-U.S. nationals. American citizens and permanent residents can still enter the country irrespective of their vaccination status. However, they will have to face additional testing hurdles. The officials are of the opinion that those who have not been vaccinated can easily contract and spread COVID-19.
The Biden administration pushed back the requirement for essential travelers by more than two months.
Essential travelers have been able to transit unimpeded when most cross-border traffic was shut down in the earliest days of the pandemic.
Norita Taylor, spokeswoman for the trucking group Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, criticized the vaccination requirement. She called it an example of “how unnecessary government mandates can force experienced owner-operators and independent truckers out of business.”
“These requirements are another example of how impractical regulations will send safe drivers off the road,” she was quoted as saying in AP report.
About 47 million adults in the U.S. remain unvaccinated, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, the results of a new poll find that 28 per cent of U.S. adults believe without evidence that the “truth about the harmful effects of vaccines” is being deliberately hidden from the public.
The findings are part of global research conducted by the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project, which looks at how different countries perceive a variety of conspiracy theories.