On April 22, 2020, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published two separate notifications of continuation of temporary travel restrictions, which announce the decision of the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) to continue to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Canada or Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Canada and United States- Mexico borders. Such travel will be limited to “essential travel,” as further defined in the document. 

“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 Canada or Mexico 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 or Mexico);
  • 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 does not fall within the definition of “essential travel” for purposes of this Notification—

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

The notification does not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel between the United States and Canada or Mexico, but does apply to passenger rail and ferry travel between the United States and Canada or Mexico. These restrictions go into effect at 12 a.m. EDT on April 21, 2020 and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 20, 2020.