EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Beginning next Tuesday, the federal government will reopen Trusted Traveler Program centers to expedite international travel.
Global Entry applicants who have been conditionally approved may complete in-person interviews at most Trusted Traveler enrollment centers. These applicants must schedule interviews in advance by logging into their account. Interview availability will vary by location, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.
NEXUS and U.S.-Canada FAST interview remain suspended due to restrictions on non-essential travel at land border crossings. On the southern border, SENTRI and FAST-South enrollments may be limited, the agency said.
SENTRI, or Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection, allows participants to enter the U.S. using dedicated commuter lanes — also known as “express” lanes — at Southern ports of entry.
All of the above programs let some 9 million pre-screened, low-risk travelers receive expedited processing when entering the United States.
CBP said it has worked with health and safety experts on the reopening and will have precautions to minimize the spread of COVID-19 to its workers and the public. Social distancing will be enforced and everyone is expected to wear a face mask.
Also, appointments may be staggered or cut back each day and waiting areas may be reduced to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
CBP suspended operations at Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers on March 19 due to the coronavirus threat.
Enrollment on Arrival has remained operational and the agency says that program is the best option for conditionally approved Global Entry applicants to complete enrollment without scheduling an interview. However, CBP says that crossing a U.S. land border just to visit a Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment center will still be considered non-essential travel.