Canada and Mexico Update – Who is Essential?

Canada and Mexico Update – Who is Essential?

May 14, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the United States and Canada/Mexico have enacted restrictions on non-essential travel across the border on land through a Port of Entry.  While U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and individuals with valid travel documents are exempt, those who wish to travel from Canada or Mexico for tourism or recreational purposes are barred as “non-essential travel”.  On the other hand, “essential travel” includes  work and study; critical infrastructure support; economic services and supply chains; health, immediate medical care, and safety and security.

Other “essential travel” includes:

  • 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 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)
  • Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel
  • Members of the US Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the US Armed Forces, returning to the United States
  • Individuals engaged in military related travel or operations

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the following is a list of essential critical infrastructure workers who are deemed “essential”:

  • Healthcare/Public Health
  • Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and Other First Responders
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Water and Wastewater
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services
  • Communications and Information Technology
  • Other Community- or Government-based operations and essential functions
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Financial Services
  • Chemical and Gas
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services
  • Hygiene Products and Services

As the situation evolves daily, businesses are strongly encouraged to make immediate arrangements related to cross-border travel.  Travelers should expect delays and inconsistent application of the travel suspension by port of entry officials.

Contact a Wolfsdorf Rosenthal attorney for assistance if you are struggling to enter the United States because of COVID-19.


By | 2020-05-14T14:40:50-08:00 May 14th, 2020|Other|Comments Off on Canada and Mexico Update – Who is Essential?

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