Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Officials in the US extend ground border closures with Mexico and Canada to all nonessential travel through at least Aug. 20.

  • Alert Begins: 16 Jul 2020 07:34 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions, movement restrictions

US authorities have extended the ground border closures with Canada and Mexico to all nonessential travel through at least Aug. 20, as part of the country's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The closures, which are also in place for pleasure boat travels, will not affect trade, movement of essential goods and workers, food, medicines, or cargo trucks. US citizens or lawful permanent residents returning to the country or individuals traveling to attend educational institutions are also exempted. The initial orders to close the ground borders were imposed March 21.

Additional travel restrictions are ongoing. US officials have suspended entry for foreign nationals who have been in Brazil, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, UK, Ireland, and the Schengen Area within the last 14 days. US citizens and legal permanent residents who have traveled to a country on the restricted list within 14 days of arrival must self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has previously announced that incoming flights from the listed countries would be permitted to land only at the following 15 airports:


  • 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)


  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)


  • George Bush International Airport in Houston (IAH)


  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)


  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)


  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX)


  • Miami International Airport (MIA)


  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)


  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)


  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)


  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)


Department of State officials have also advised US citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Authorities urge anyone entering the country from abroad to self-quarantine and monitor their health for 14 days.

Authorities advise all residents to avoid gatherings and crowded places, maintain a distance of at least 1.8 meters (six feet) from others when in public, and wear face and nose coverings. People 65 years of age or older and those with underlying health conditions are advised to remain at home whenever possible.

Regional and local authorities have taken additional measures. Several states have imposed additional travel restrictions, including for travelers entering from other US states. Most states maintain limitations on business activities; however, in most regions, officials have eased some of the restrictions initially imposed, allowing businesses such as retail stores and restaurants, and recreational areas like parks and beaches, to reopen with limitations. Additional measures may be imposed in upcoming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures announced by the US government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks, in response to the spread of COVID-19. 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 appointments and travel plans if they had already been scheduled. Heed the recommendations of authorities. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

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).

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