The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday the continuation of the temporary travel restrictions for Canada and Mexico, according to the order.
The announcement comes on the day the restriction was set to expire at midnight — 60 days after it was put in place following President Trump’s announcement on March 20 that the U.S.–Mexico southern border would be closed off to “non-essential” travelers.
“(The DHS acting secretary) has continued to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of May 18, there are over 4.6 million confirmed cases globally, with over 310,000 confirmed deaths. There are over 1.4 million confirmed and probable cases within the United States, over 76,000 confirmed cases in Canada, and over 47,000 confirmed cases in Mexico,” the DHS notification states.
Essential travel includes, but is not limited to, the following: U.S. citizens or permanent residents returning to the country, people traveling for medical purposes in the case of receiving treatment in the U.S., people traveling to attend educational institutions, and those returning to the U.S. in the agriculture and farming industries.
Additionally, anyone traveling as part of an emergency response team, government officials, emergency responders, and those who work in cross-border trade, such as truck drivers moving cargo between the U.S. and Mexico can continue to travel.
This initiative will end at midnight June 20, according to a release from DHS.
Non-essential travel is considered to be tourism, or recreational in nature. Examples include sightseeing, gambling or attending a cultural event.
In late March, CBP officials said the ports of entry would still allow entry of “legitimate documented travelers” not subject to previously announced restrictions.
CBP officials stated at the time that they may “limit the number of open vehicle primary lanes to maintain operational control of all travelers seeking entry to the United States,” the release from CBP stated.
Those travelers who do not meet the above description would be returned to Mexico.