Effective March 21, 2020, the United States entered into joint initiatives with Canada and Mexico to restrict travel across the land borders with each country.  All non-essential travel across the US-Canada and US-Mexico borders is temporarily restricted.  The restrictions are to remain in place for 30 days subject to review by each of the respective governments based on COVID-19 pandemic developments.

The DHS announcements defined “non-essential” travel as “travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.”  Furthermore, the White House issued a Fact Sheet indicating that these restrictions will not apply to:

  • American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and individuals with valid travel documents;
  • Cargo shipments; and
  • Trade and business travel subject to additional screening.

Therefore, these temporary restrictions should not affect individuals entering the United States at the land borders with valid work visas or travel documents such as Advance Parole.  However, individuals entering to conduct trade or business as B-1 business visitors may be subject to greater scrutiny by Customs and Border Protection Officers.   The same is expected for those traveling from the U.S. to Canada or Mexico.

For related information regarding US travel restrictions see our previous Coronavirus Outbreak U.S. Travel Ban Update.  Please visit Squire Patton Boggs’ Coronavirus COVID-19 Resource Hub for additional guidance on the legal, regulatory and commercial implications of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.