Severity: Warning Alert
Entry/Exit: Authorities in North America to maintain travel and movement restrictions through at least June, to stem the spread of COVID-19.
The locations affected by this alert are:
- United States
This alert began 21 May 2020 12:24 GMT and is scheduled to expire 21 May 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Regional (map)
- Time Frame: Through at least June
- Impact: Flight cancellations, movement restrictions, business disruptions
Authorities in the US, Canada, and Mexico plan to continue implementing travel restrictions, additional health screening measures, and internal movement and business restrictions through at least late June to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Authorities announced the extension of the closure of US land borders with Canada and Mexico to nonessential travel through at least June 22. Officials are also maintaining a ban on entry for foreign nationals, who in the previous 14 days have been in China, Iran, the UK, Ireland, or any of the 26 European countries in the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Returning US citizens and legal permanent residents who have traveled to the restricted country list within 14 days of arrival must self-quarantine for 14 days. Citizens have been advised not to travel internationally.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that incoming flights from the above-mentioned countries are limited to landing in the following 13 airports only:
- Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX)
- Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
- Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Authorities have implemented guidelines for social distancing, urging residents to avoid gatherings, to remain at home as much as possible, and to avoid attending nonessential businesses. Officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have imposed restrictions on businesses and movement; however, most states started to ease restrictions since mid-May, allowing some businesses, such as retail stores, to reopen with limitations.
Authorities extended the closure of the land border with the US for nonessential travel through at least June 22, while still allowing US citizens for essential travel, and barred nonresident foreign nationals from entering through at least late June. Officials have redirected all international passenger flights to four airports:
- Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
- Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
- Montreal Trudeau Airport (YUL)
- Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Persons exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, including Canadian nationals, will not be allowed to board international planes destined for Canada. No cruise ships with more than 500 passengers will be allowed to dock in Canadian ports until at least July 1. Authorities have also banned any person exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms from boarding interprovincial flights or trains within Canada. Regional governments are implementing various restrictions, including limiting the entrance of residents of other provinces or ordering visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days. Most provinces began easing restrictions in May.
Mexican authorities have closed the land border with the US to nonessential travel until at least June 22, but have not suspended or limited entry for foreign nationals arriving in the country by plane. However, there is limited flight availability due to entry restrictions in most countries worldwide. Officials have announced increased screening measures at airports for all travelers coming from the most-affected areas, including China, Iran, and Europe. Officials have asked all Mexican residents to avoid all nonessential international travel. Authorities have also ordered all nonessential businesses to close and nonessential activities in the country to be canceled through at least May 30, and have also urged residents - especially those 60 years of age or older and people with health problems - to remain inside their homes unless for performing essential tasks through at least May 30. In areas not affected by COVID-19, businesses began to reopen starting May 18.
Countries could expand their restrictions in the coming days, particularly if the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increases.
Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Confirm travel. Confirm entry requirements before embarking on travel to the region. Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny, delays, and potential quarantine.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands).