For almost two years, only essential travelers could cross the border between the United States and Mexico. Personal travel was not considered essential, so many families were separated. As of Monday, November 8, 2021, many of these travel restrictions are lifted. Keep reading to find out more about entering the United States from Mexico.
Now, all vaccinated travelers from Mexico can enter the USA. They will need to show formal proof of vaccination to be able to cross the border. They will also need other travel permissions. This can include a passport that allows them to enter the USA. Travelers also need to have relevant visas if those are required based on their nationality and the purpose of their travel.
People can now enter the US for the purposes of tourism, visiting family, and conducting business there. These travelers could not cross the border before. Note the US citizens coming home do not need to show proof of vaccination, though they will need to show a negative COVID-19 test if that is required at the time of their crossing.
Also, note that anyone entering the USA by air needs to show a negative COVID test that was taken within one day of departure. Kids who are under 2 are exempt from this requirement. Travelers who have recovered from COVID within the last 90 days can show documentation and do not need to take a COVID test.
Documentation includes a copy of COVID test results that are positive, as well as a letter from a doctor or public health official stating that they had the disease.
United States officials note that, sometimes, crossing the border requires hours of waiting, particularly at peak crossing times. People who have been waiting to enter the United States may need to wait just a little bit longer, as long lines sometimes form at the crossings. Patience is key, as is having the relevant documents ready to go. If everyone has their documentation prepared, the border crossing goes faster for all.
Foot crossings may have shorter lines than vehicle crossings because there are fewer people who choose to cross this way. However, crossing on foot means having access to transportation on the other side of the border, which may not be possible for all visitors.
One of the best things about the border opening is that families can reunite. Many were separated for 18 months or more, with little notice before that occurred. In many cases, Mexican families are split across the border. Some live in Mexico, while others live just across the border in the USA. Most of the time, this is not a problem for them. They can cross the border freely to see each other, celebrate major life events, grieve together, and more.
However, when the border shut down because of COVID-19, these families were separated. In many cases, they did not even get to say goodbye before the laws were changed. While they could communicate electronically, it has not been the same as being able to see each other in person. People have missed out on each others’ major life events. Mothers and fathers have been separated from children, grandparents haven’t seen grandkids grow, and more. Weddings, funerals, and graduations have been missed. Now that the border is open again, people can catch up with each others’ lives. They can give the hugs and kisses that they have been holding onto for so long.
Many of these reunions are both tearful and joyful. People cry because they are so happy to see one another again.
Other times, the reunions are hard. When someone has died and is not there, it can be hard for the people who missed out on the funeral and the collective grieving process. Most of the time, though, families are so glad to see each other again. Now, they hope they can move on with their lives together.
Business travel was also all but halted when the border closed because of the pandemic. This made it hard for people with businesses that spanned both countries to operate. Many entrepreneurs have started a business in one country, near the border, only to see it spread over the border. This is usually great news because expansion means more money and it means that the product or service being sold is needed and wanted.
However, during the pandemic, running these cross-border businesses became more difficult. Bosses were often stuck on one side of the border with some employees on the other. Again, electronic communication often saved the day, but it wasn’t the same. People had to step up to take responsibility and make decisions, even when that wasn’t originally their job. Now, these supervisors, CEOs, and more can cross the border and see for themselves how their business is going on the other side.
Many of these reunions are joyful, too, because businesses have grown and employees have stepped in when and where they were needed.
Sometimes, though, it’s hard, because a business has failed on one side of the border or it is suffering because of the lack of leadership. Now, these businesses can rebuild, if they need to, and continue growing. They can begin working together alongside their compatriots on the other side of the border.
Closing the border from Mexico might have been essential to try and stem the flow of the COVID-19 virus, but it wasn’t easy.
Now that the border is open again, relationships and businesses can begin to do the necessary work to repair it. They can rebuild, sometimes from the ground up. Overall, both families and business owners are happy that the border is open. They can finally see for themselves how everyone is doing and how everything is going on the other side. Over time, we will see if and how these border closures affected families and businesses long-term. We hope to see thriving relationships and growing commerce.