US, Canada, Mexico extend restrictions on nonessential land travel

20 May 20

UNITED STATES

The United States, Canada and Mexico have agreed to extend the current COVID-19 border restrictions for another 30 days, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced.

Key points:

  • The travel restrictions will now remain in place until 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 22, but may be amended, rescinded or extended. The restrictions initially took effect March 20 for 30 days and were extended in April until May 21.
  • Only “essential travel” is permitted at all land ports of entry along the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders.
  • The list of individuals permitted to engage in “essential travel” includes U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) returning to the U.S.; and people traveling to work in the U.S. (e.g., agricultural workers), engaging in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers transporting goods), or traveling to attend school, receive medical treatment, for public health purposes, or a limited number of other reasons.
  • The restrictions do not include air or sea travel, but do apply to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel and pleasure boat travel.

BAL Analysis: DHS is expected to publish official notices extending the restrictions in the Federal Register this week. Individuals traveling across the U.S.-Canadian and U.S.-Mexico border for essential travel are exempt from the restrictions, but travelers should be prepared for delays and increased scrutiny, as well as possible changes in how U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers interpret “essential travel.”

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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