Temporary Travel Restrictions for Land Ports

The Secretary of Homeland Security announces the continuation of temporary travel restrictions for land ports of entry between the U.S. and both Canada and Mexico

On May 22, 2020 the Secretary of Homeland Security announced his decision to continue to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Mexico and United States-Canada borders at land ports of entry. Such travel, he explained, would be limited to “essential travel”.

These restrictions were first announced on March 24, 2020 in response to developing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. In his first announcement, the Secretary determined that the risk of continued transmission and spread of COVID-19 between the United States and both Mexico and Canada posed a “specific threat to human life or national interests.” Those restrictions were extended until May 20, 2020 and have now been extended through 11:59 pm on June 22, 2020.

For purposes of these restrictions, “essential travel” includes but is not limited to:

  • 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 Mexico or 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 Mexico or 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.

The following travel, however, does not fall within the definition of “essential travel” for purposes of the Secretary’s restriction:

  • Individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events).

As a firm, we will continue to monitor any COVID-19 developments on our northern and southern borders and their corresponding impacts on you and your loved ones.