Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Notification of continuation of temporary travel restrictions.
This document announces the decision of the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) to continue to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Canada into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Canada border. Such travel will be limited to “essential travel,” as further defined in this document.
These restrictions go into effect at 12 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 22, 2021 and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on March 21, 2021.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Stephanie Watson, Office of Field Operations Coronavirus Coordination Cell, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at 202-325-0840.
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On March 24, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published notice of its decision to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Canada into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Canada border to “essential travel,” as further defined in that document.
The document described the developing circumstances regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and stated that, given the outbreak and continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 within the United States and globally, DHS had determined that the risk of continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 between the United States and Canada posed a “specific threat to human life or national interests.” DHS later published a series of notifications continuing such limitations on travel until 11:59 p.m. EST on February 21, 2021.
DHS continues to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the week of February 14, 2021, there have been over 108.2 million confirmed cases globally, with over 2.3 million confirmed deaths.
There have been over 27.6 million confirmed and probable cases within the United States,
over 820,000 confirmed cases in Canada,
and over 1.9 million confirmed cases in Mexico.
Notice of Action
Given the outbreak and continued transmission and spread of COVID-19 within the United States and globally, the Secretary has determined that the Start Printed Page 10816risk of continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 between the United States and Canada poses an ongoing “specific threat to human life or national interests.”
U.S. and Canadian officials have mutually determined that non-essential travel between the United States and Canada poses additional risk of transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 and places the populace of both nations at increased risk of contracting the virus associated with COVID-19. Moreover, given the sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus, returning to previous levels of travel between the two nations places the personnel staffing land ports of entry between the United States and Canada, as well as the individuals traveling through these ports of entry, at increased risk of exposure to the virus associated with COVID-19. Accordingly, and consistent with the authority granted in 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) and (b)(2),
I have determined that land ports of entry along the U.S.-Canada border will continue to suspend normal operations and will only allow processing for entry into the United States of those travelers engaged in “essential travel,” as defined below. Given the definition of “essential travel” below, this temporary alteration in land ports of entry operations should not interrupt legitimate trade between the two nations or disrupt critical supply chains that ensure food, fuel, medicine, and other critical materials reach individuals on both sides of the border.
For purposes of the temporary alteration in certain designated ports of entry operations authorized under 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) and (b)(2), travel through the land ports of entry and ferry terminals along the United States-Canada border shall be limited to “essential travel,” which 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.
The following travel does not fall within the definition of “essential travel” for purposes of this Notification—
- Individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events).
At this time, this Notification does not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel between the United States and Canada, but does apply to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat travel between the United States and Canada. These restrictions are temporary in nature and shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 21, 2021. This Notification may be amended or rescinded prior to that time, based on circumstances associated with the specific threat.
The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is hereby directed to prepare and distribute appropriate guidance to CBP personnel on the continued implementation of the temporary measures set forth in this Notification. The CBP Commissioner may determine that other forms of travel, such as travel in furtherance of economic stability or social order, constitute “essential travel” under this Notification. Further, the CBP Commissioner may, on an individualized basis and for humanitarian reasons or for other purposes in the national interest, permit the processing of travelers to the United States not engaged in “essential travel.”
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Alejandro N. Mayorkas,
Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2021-03774 Filed 2-19-21; 11:15 am]
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