On September 18, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an extension until October 21, 2020, of measures to limit all non-essential travel across the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico. DHS said in a statement, “The U.S., Mexican, and Canadian governments are taking necessary action to fight against this pandemic together.”
A DHS statement said that nonessential travel includes travel related to tourism or recreation. Essential travel includes travel to preserve supply chains between the countries. “These supply chains ensure that food, fuel, and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border,” DHS said. Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans also cross the land borders every day to do essential work or for other urgent or essential reasons, and that travel will not be affected, DHS said. Also, U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and “certain other travelers” are exempt.
DHS said the measures, first announced in March 2020, were part of a collaborative “North American” approach intended to limit the further spread of coronavirus. They were extended multiple times throughout the spring and summer.