Border Travel Restrictions Update

The temporary restrictions on non-essential travel across shared ports of entry between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico have been extended for an additional thirty days to February 21. These restrictions continue to impact our region’s retail and tourism, industries already critically hit by the pandemic. The Chamber has called for the restrictions to be lifted as businesses across our region have shouldered the bulk of the impact and an increasing number of small businesses are closing their doors permanently. An effective way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 across our borders is a coordinated binational effort around social distancing and mask wearing.

In addition to restrictions at our land ports of entry, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued an Order that requires travelers entering the U.S. by air to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding. This Order applies to all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

The special medical “fast lane” at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry has been relocated to the far-left side of the port traveling northbound. The program, operated by Mexican authorities, was originally created to boost medical tourism and expedite the return of U.S. visitors after receiving medical care in Mexico. The new access is also available for business purposes, and single-use passes can be acquired through authorized medical offices and chambers of commerce in Baja. For additional information, please visit the City of Tijuana’s FastLane website.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released its Strategy 2021-2026 which introduces the agency’s new mission and vision statements while providing an overview of its priorities and strategic objectives. These objectives cover: secure and compliant trade; biometric identification; IT infrastructure; partnerships; counter network; awareness and enforcement; targeting and vetting; stakeholder experience; talent acquisition and workforce development; wellness and resilience; data and analytics; and intelligence. We look forward to continued collaboration with CBP on regional priorities that facilitate cross-border commerce and ensure a secure, reliable, and efficient border.