The United States will open its land borders with Mexico and Canada in early November to non-essential travelers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a senior White House official announced Tuesday, report agencies.
The official said the administration would give the "precise date very soon"-both for land crossings as well as international air travel, which would be timed to "go together."
The United States had already announced in September that it would lift bans in November on all vaccinated air passengers who undergo testing and contact tracing.
In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, US borders were closed in March 2020 to travelers coming from the European Union, Britain and China, with India and Brazil added to the list later. Overland visitors from Mexico and Canada were also banned.
The nearly 19 months of restrictions led to both personal and economic suffering.
The White House source said the land border re-opening would happen in two phases.
Meanwhile, the novel coronavirus has killed at least 4,884,905 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled Worldometers Wednesday.
At least 239,638,294 cases of coronavirus have been registered.
More than 6.56 billion doses have been administered across 184 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The latest rate was roughly 25.7 million doses a day.
The vast majority have recovered, though some have continued to experience symptoms weeks or even months later.
The figures are based on daily reports provided by health authorities in each country.
They exclude revisions made by other statistical organisations, which show that the number of deaths is much higher.
The World Health Organization estimates that the pandemic's overall toll could be two to three times higher than official records, due to the excess mortality that is directly and indirectly linked to Covid-19.
A large number of the less severe or asymptomatic cases also remain undetected, despite intensified testing in many cou-ntries.
On Tuesday, 8,218 new deaths and 451,476 new cases were recorded worldwide. Based on latest reports, the countries with the most new deaths were United States with 2,395 new deaths, followed by Russia with 984 and Mexico with 546.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 716,479 deaths from 44,570,588 cases.
After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 601,398 deaths from 21,590,097 cases, India with 451,189 deaths from 34,001,743 cases, Mexico with 282,773 deaths from 3,732,429 cases, and Russia with 219,329 deaths from 7,861,681 cases.
The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Peru with 606 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Bosnia-Herzegovina with 336, Republic of North Macedonia with 329, Montenegro with 318, Bulgaria with 314, and Hungary with 314.
Latin America and the Caribbean overall has 1,503,874 deaths from 45,379,844 cases, Europe 1,340,860 deaths from 69,941,710 infections, and Asia 852,737 deaths from 54,831,340 cases.
The United States and Canada has reported 744,705 deaths from 46,232,306 cases, Africa 213,721 deaths from 8,377,554 cases, Middle East 203,187 deaths from 13,619,404 cases, and Oceania 2,394 deaths from 210,662 cases.
As a result of corrections by national authorities or late publication of data, the figures updated over the past 24 hours may not correspond exactly to the previous day's tallies.