On April 19, 2021, the Biden administration extended travel restrictions along the land ports of entry between the United States and Canada and the United States and Mexico through May 21, 2021. The border restrictions were set to expire on April 21, 2021. The restrictions, which have been in effect since March 21, 2020, specifically prohibit all “non-essential” travel at these land ports of entry to prevent the spread of COVID-19. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) defines “non-essential” travel as travel for “tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events).” “Essential” travel includes, among other categories, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States, individuals traveling for medical purposes, and individuals traveling to work in the United States. The Federal Register confirms that the current travel restrictions do not apply to air travel, but affect passenger rail and ferry transit, as well as all land crossings. The restrictions are subject to further extension if agreed upon by all government parties.
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will monitor developments with respect to these and other policy changes and will post updates on the Immigration blog and in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.