EL PASO, Texas – On the eve of Monday's highly-anticipated reopening to the U.S.-Mexico border to non-essential travel, El Paso-based U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials sought to dispel rumors that anyone and everyone will be allowed to cross.
CBP's El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha emphasized that "only those fully vaccinated foreign nationals with appropriate and valid entry documents will be permitted to cross into the U.S. from Mexico at land border crossings for non-essential reasons. These travelers are required to be prepared to attest to vaccination status and to present proof of vaccination to a CBP officer upon request. This change does not apply to anyone else."
He added, “We are hearing about rumors circulating on social media and elsewhere that this change applies to anyone. I can assure you it does not."
In a statement Sunday, Mancha also reiterated a warning he issued during a briefing on Friday: Those crossing the border at El Paso's ports of entry should be prepared for longer wait times due to the lifting of the non-essential travel restrictions.
"Given the growing volume of travel, border crossers should take into account longer than normal wait times and long lines at our land border in the days ahead. CBP asks that travelers to exercise patience as the agency embarks on further reopening cross border travel," he explained.
Travelers will be able to monitor border wait times online, with the CBP indicating that the information would be updated hourly.