This week, Puerto Peñasco took its first steps into Phase I of an economic reopening process for the city. This included renewed business for many who offer appointment only options, limit of 2 people in specific stores, as well as specific open recreation hours at La Milla, and continued take-out / delivery only regulations for restaurants, among other measures. As it stands, Phase II of the city’s reopening plan would begin June 1st, followed by Phase III on June 16th.
Initially, Phase III is meant to represent when visitors would be permitted to come back. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the extension of temporary travel restrictions between US/Mexico/Canada through June 22nd – which means while the borders are open, non-essential travel is restricted. We have yet to see what this will mean for Puerto Peñasco if indeed we enter Phase III on June 16th as anticipated.
The temporary travel restriction on land entries into the U.S. from Mexico had been set to expire on May 20th, though has now been extended until 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 22, 2020 Accordingly, the U.S. DHS announced land ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border will continue to suspend normal operations and will only allow processing for entry into the United States of those travelers engaged in “essential travel,” as defined below. However, “this temporary alteration in land ports of entry operations should not interrupt legitimate trade between the two nations or disrupt critical supply chains that ensure food, fuel, medicine, and other critical materials reach individuals on both sides of the border.”
Essential travel (includes, but is not limited to):
• U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States;
• Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States)
• Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions;
• Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Mexico in furtherance of such work);
• Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies);
• Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Mexico);
• Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel;
• Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States; and
• Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.
The following travel does not fall within the definition of “essential travel” for purposes of this Notification:
• Individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events)
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alyce Modesto, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at 202-344-3788.