Restrictions on non-essential travel across US land borders with Mexico and Canada initially scheduled to expire today have been extended until November 8.
The White House made the most recent announcement on Friday, adding only fully vaccinated Canadian and Mexican citizens will be allowed through. Additionally, the Biden administration will simultaneously lift its 18-month ban on travel for visitors from 33 countries, but visitors will also need to show proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test before their arrival.
The travel restrictions have had significant economic consequences for the US tourism industry. The industry suffered a $500 billion loss in travel expenditure in 2020, costing the US economy over $1.1 trillion in economic output and more than $250 billion in lost incomes.
Expect the tourism sector to nevertheless recover gradually as border closures and health measures steadily decrease in the medium-term. Moreover, the new US travel policy is likely to reveal the future of international travel. In particular, COVID-19 certificates that provide proof of vaccination will likely be mandated by the international community within the short-term. However, the travel measures will create substantial complications for people in developing countries where vaccination rates and accessibility remain inadequate.
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Riley is an Analyst and a regular contributor to the Daily Brief, he focuses on security issues in Europe and the Middle East/North Africa.