May 27, 2020

The United States Extends Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry at the United States-Mexico Border and the United States-Canada Border


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has extended its temporary travel restrictions applicable to land ports of entry at the United States-Mexico border and at the United States-Canada border through June 22, 2020. Individuals may only travel from Mexico or Canada into the United States at land ports for “essential travel.”

“Essential travel” includes, without limitation, the following:

  • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States;
  • Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States);
  • Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions;
  • Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada in furtherance of such work);
  • Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies);
  • Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada);
  • Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel;
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States; and Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.
Travel for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events) is not considered “essential travel.”

Given the definition of “essential travel”, these restrictions should not interrupt legitimate trade between the United States and Mexico or between the United States and Canada, or disrupt critical supply chains that ensure food, fuel, medicine, and other critical materials reach individuals in each of the three countries.

The travel restrictions described above do not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel, but do apply to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat travel.

Contact information:

Robert M. Barnett | rbarnett@ccn-law.com
Marissa Sandoval Rodriguez | msandoval@ccn-law.com
Natalie Ceron-Cuellar | nceron@ccn-law.com