Travel Restriction Roundup: U.S. Extends Restrictions Along Canada and Mexico Borders

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended travel restrictions along the Canada and Mexico Borders. Worldwide ERC® provides an update to more travel restrictions around the world that workforce mobility professionals will need to know.

The world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic alongside a race to approve a vaccine for limited use before the end of the year. As some parts of the world enter into colder winter months, they will also experience stricter quarantining mandates as well as border closings. Below is an update to travel restrictions around the world that workforce mobility professionals will need to know.

In the United States, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf announced on 19 November an issued an extension of the restrictions for non-essential travel through the U.S.-Canada-Mexico borders through 21 December. Essential travel is considered travel by U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and foreign nationals legally traveling to the U.S. for work. However, business travelers and those with a visa waiver may come under additional scrutiny. Non-essential travel refers to recreational travel, including for tourism.

Elsewhere around the world, restrictions continue or tighten. Sweden is a country that is yet to impose a national lockdown, but appears to be shifting gears by imposing stricter measures as the second wave of COVID-19 continues, contributing to rising cases. On 16 November, the Swedish government announced that public gatherings of more than 8 people are no longer allowed, effective 24 November and expected to last at least four weeks. When it comes to travel, the majority of the EU remains partially open, while the U.K. remains completely open.

Some additional countries remain completely open for travel, including countries in Africa as well as Mexico. Brazil, which was previously open, announced on 19 November extended restriction of entry to foreign nationals through land and water ports for thirty more days, while travel through airports will continue. Meanwhile, some countries in Southeast Asia are expected to reopen travel soon, even as COVID cases continue to rise. India, for example, could lift travel to most foreign travelers as soon as 30 November.

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How This Impacts Mobility

The past year has seen an unprecedented level of travel restrictions as governments around the world sought to keep people safe from the spread of COVID-19. The result has been a decrease in cross-border movement that is crucial in many ways to the workforce mobility industry. As COVID-19 continues, safety will continue to be top of mind as more countries are likely to extend travel restrictions until COVID-19 is under more control. Should any member have questions regarding these developments, please reach out to Vice President of Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters,