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A Better Partnership


Mar 2020
March 26, 2020

Should I Stay or Should I Go?
COVID-19 and U.S. – Canada Border Restrictions

On Saturday, March 21, the border between the U.S. and Canada was closed to non-essential travel for the next 30 days. The closure came through a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Canada Border Services Agency. Although the U.S. and Canada did not precisely define “essential travel,” a joint statement released by both governments provided some indication of allowable cross border traffic. 

Allowed Travel
  • Transport of food, fuel and medicine
  • Supply chain trucking
  • Individuals entering to engage in “essential work” (decided case-by-case)
Prohibited Travel
  • Tourism
  • Recreation
Exemptions from Travel Restrictions
  • Returning citizens, lawful permanent residents and immediate family members
    • Canada provides additional exemptions unrelated to most travelers from the U.S.
Increased Medical Screening
Canada: With the exception of truckers and essential trade workers, travelers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

U.S.: Travelers who have visited any country subject to the temporary COVID-19 travel bans during the previous 14 days will not be allowed to enter. If the travelers are U.S. citizens, permanent residents or their immediate family members, they may only enter the U.S. through one of 13 designated airports. A list of countries subject to the COVID-19 travel bans and designated airports is available here (last accessed 3/25/20).

If you have any questions regarding cross border traffic, please contact Warner attorneys Michael Wooley, Angela Jenkins or Ojone Ameadaji.

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