The Department of Homeland Security issued a notification imposing temporary travel restrictions on non-essential land travel from Canada and Mexico in furtherance of COVID-19 measures.

Key points:

  • The restrictions take effect March 20 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and remain in effect until April 20, 11:59 p.m. EDT.
  • Normal operations at land ports of entry along the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders will be suspended, except for “essential travel.”
  • The list of “essential travel” includes U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) returning to the U.S., individuals traveling to work in the U.S. (e.g., agricultural workers), individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers transporting goods), individuals traveling to attend school, receive medical treatment, for public health purposes, and a limited number of other reasons.
  • Air and sea travel are excluded from the restrictions.

BAL Analysis: Individuals traveling across the Canadian border for work are exempt from the restrictions, but should be prepared for additional delays and increased scrutiny. BAL will be closely monitoring how Customs and Border Protection enforces the new restrictions, and will update clients as additional information becomes available.

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

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