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CBP to Comply With Presidential Executive Order Requiring Face Masks at Ports of Entry

Release Date: 
February 4, 2021

WASHINGTON—Effective Feb. 2, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is enforcing the requirement that travelers wear face masks at all air, land and sea ports of entry in the United States in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Order Regarding the Requirement for Persons to Wear Masks While on Public Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs.

The new requirement applies to all persons older than 2 years of age. Per CDC guidelines:

  • A properly worn mask completely covers the nose and mouth.
  • Cloth masks should be made with two or more layers of a breathable fabric that is tightly woven (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source).
  • Masks should be secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head. If gaiters are worn, they should have two layers of fabric or be folded to make two layers.
  • Masks should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • Masks should be a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, or punctures.

With limited exceptions, travelers must wear a face mask while physically present at a U.S. air, land, or sea port of entry. CBP Officers will require travelers to temporarily lower their mask during the inspection process to verify their identity.

The mask requirement does not apply to persons with disabilities who cannot wear, or cannot safely wear, a mask due to a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The mask requirement also does not apply to individuals for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty.

Individuals on private conveyances such as personal vehicles are not required to wear a mask while driving, but must don a mask once they enter an air, land, or sea port facility. Drivers of commercial vehicles and trucks are also not required to wear a mask while driving if the driver is the sole occupant of the vehicle.

The mask requirement will remain in effect until further notice. Failure to comply with the mask requirement can result in denial of transport or other civil/criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. 3559, 3571.

CBP urges all travelers to closely follow the CDC’s COVID-19 travel guidelines.

Last modified: 
February 4, 2021