EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – City officials on Friday warned residents and visitors that the U.S. government is moving up its enforcement of full vaccination requirements for foreign nationals by two hours at El Paso ports of entry.
“The federal requirements will go into effect at 10 p.m. today, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022,” the city said in a news release.
The Department of Homeland Security earlier said that on Saturday it would require all foreign nationals who are not permanent legal residents of the United States who enter the country by land or sea to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This applies to those who are engaged in essential travel as well. Previously, only non-essential travelers were subject to the requisite.
American citizens and legal permanent residents aren’t subject to the requisite, though the Biden administration urges everyone to be fully vaccinated.
Foreign visitors must verbally inform the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors at ports of entry of their compliance and be prepared to show proof upon request. Only foreigners with proper travel documents will be allowed to proceed; those seeking entry without authorization are subject to immediate expulsion under the Title 42 public health rule to prevent the cross-border spread of the coronavirus.
The city also reminded visitors that the U.S. government only recognizes nine brands of COVID-19 vaccines as valid. They include Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Covishield, Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Novavax/Covavax. Mexico has administered CanSino and Sputnik vaccines to some of its citizens, which the U.S. does not accept as valid.
El Paso depends on Mexican visitors for between 14 percent and 29 percent of its retail sales.