The US will announce Wednesday the reopening of its land borders with Canada and Mexico to fully vaccinated visitors starting next month.
The border has been closed at all car, train and ferry crossings since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the exception of essential travel such as trade.
The lifting of restrictions on non-essential visitors at the land border comes just weeks after President Joe Biden’s administration announced it would allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to fly to the United States starting next month. An exact date for the implementation of the new regulations has not been set.
Administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to reporters said those seeking to enter the US illegally would continue to be the target of a so-called Title 42 order imposed by former president Donald Trump, which immigration activists say bar migrants from crossing the border before they can apply. asylum application.
The Biden administration has come under pressure from US legislators, as well as Canada and Mexico, to lift restrictions they say have separated families and removed billions of dollars of US income from tourism.
Meanwhile, Bali is gearing up to welcome international visitors from several countries to the island on Thursday, after being closed for more than a year due to the pandemic.
Visitors from China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates will be required to show evidence of being fully vaccinated, undergo a COVID test on arrival and quarantine in their hotel room for at least five days.
A report in Tuesday’s edition of The New York Times said the World Health Organization will form a new team of experts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has sickened more than 238 million people worldwide, including 4.8 million. who died, said the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The Times said the new advisory team would include specialists in areas such as laboratory safety and biosafety, an acknowledgment of speculation among Western governments that urged them to consider whether the virus emerged from a laboratory in the central city of Wuhan. China, where the virus was first detected in late 2019.
A team of investigators sent to Wuhan earlier this year concluded the outbreak most likely started with animal-to-human transmission. But the report was criticized by many as incomplete, mainly because of the Chinese government’s refusal to cooperate in the investigation. In July, a senior Chinese health official rejected the WHO’s upcoming plans to study the origins of COVID-19.
The US intelligence community was ordered by President Biden to find out for himself the origins of the pandemic, but the team reportedly informed the president that they could not reach a definitive conclusion. [uh/ab]