US restricts non-essential travel with Mexico and Canada: What that means

Noble Horvath

The Trump administration on Friday announced sweeping new travel restrictions with Mexico and Canada in the latest step to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions suspend normal operations and processes for anything other than “essential travel” at land ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border. TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES […]

The Trump administration on Friday announced sweeping new travel restrictions with Mexico and Canada in the latest step to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The restrictions suspend normal operations and processes for anything other than “essential travel” at land ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES US, MEXICO LIMITING NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ACROSS BORDER 

“These measures will protect the health of all three nations and reduce the incentive for mass global migration that would badly deplete the health care resources needed for our people,” President Trump said during a White House press briefing.

The orders include in that definition of “essential travel”:

  • 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;
     
  • 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; 
     
  • 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.

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At this time, it does not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel, but does apply to passenger rail and ferry travel.

The restrictions are in place until April 20.

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