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CBP Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Canada and Mexico until May 21, 2021.

The Department of Homeland Security extended the Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service between the United States, Canada, and the respective notification for Mexico.

The restrictions outlined in the Notifications are temporary in nature and shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 21, 2021 unless otherwise rescinded by the Department of Homeland Security.

The notifications extend the restriction of non-essential travel at land border ports of entry. The restrictions suspend the entry into the United States via land border, ferry crossing, rail, or through coastal ports of entry from Canada and/or Mexico, as immigrants or non-immigrants for any travel that is not deemed essential.

Currently, these restrictions do not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel between the United States and Canada and/or Mexico, but does apply to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat travel between the United States and Canada.

The determination of essential travel continues to be at the discretion of the port of entry.

Essential travel includes, but is not limited to:

  • 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 (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 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;

Members of federally recognized Tribes, whose reservations span the United States-Canada border, are also considered essential, when traveling from one part of a reservation to another.

Non-Essential travel includes, but is not limited to:

  • Pleasure boat travel is non-essential, as it constitutes travel for tourism purposes (e.g. recreation);
  • If travelers are seeking to purchase supplies readily available where they reside in Canada or Mexico, their travel is non-essential examples: groceries and fuel;
  • Visitation of friends and family is non-essential, unless they are a caretaker or assisting in providing transport to a medical appointment;
  • Mail pick-up and drop off is non-essential unless it is a necessary supply, i.e. example: prescription medications.


Please note, as local jurisdictions are moving to re-start their economies and allowing more businesses to re-open, Federal travel restrictions along the land borders continue. Additionally, as professional sports begin to resume operations, travel by athletes through land border ports of entry to participate in sporting events are considered essential.

Carlos Sandoval

Carlos Enrique Sandoval, Attorney, member of the FL Bar, AILA and licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court and the Federal Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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