TORONTO -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on Friday that a negative COVID-19 test will not be required to enter the country through its land border and ferry terminals, which are scheduled to open on Nov. 8.

When arriving at a land border crossing or a ferry terminal, non-U.S. citizens will only be required to present proof that they are fully vaccinated.

“We are pleased to take another step toward easing travel restrictions at our borders in a manner that strengthens our economy and protects the health and safety of the American public,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a news release.

Earlier this month, U.S. officials also confirmed that non-U.S. citizens with mixed vaccine doses would also be accepted. Canada and some other countries have allowed the mixing of viral vector vaccines like AstraZeneca with the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, while the U.S. has not.

While a COVID-19 test won't be required to enter the U.S., travellers will still need to take a PCR test to cross back into Canada. These tests can cost upwards of $200.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, defended the testing requirement on Friday, citing the uncertainty surrounding the Delta variant and lingering questions about how long vaccines remain effective.

The U.S. still requires a negative COVID-19 test for air travellers entering the country. However, travellers can opt for the much cheaper antigen test, which isn't accepted for entry into Canada.

With files from The Canadian Press.