Heavy traffic, long waits expected on both sides of U.S.-Mexico border when travel ban lifts

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This Feb. 13, 2020 file photo shows cars lining up to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to San Diego at San Ysidro port of entry, in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico. (GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)

This Feb. 13, 2020 file photo shows cars lining up to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to San Diego at San Ysidro port of entry, in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico. (GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Communities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border are preparing for heavy traffic and long waits at ports of entry on Monday when the U.S. will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel after almost 20 months of COVID-19 restrictions.

Travel across land borders from Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to workers whose jobs are deemed essential. New rules will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason.

U.S. officials urged travelers to have their travel and vaccine documents readily available for border authorities to inspect in anticipation of longer-than-usual wait times at ports of entry.

Unvaccinated children will be allowed to enter the U.S. if they are traveling with a fully vaccinated adult, according to a San Diego Union Tribune report.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection also urged people traveling for non-essential reasons to avoid crossing at peak times.

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