About a week after the 2019 Novel Coronavirus was declared a worldwide pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) temporarily paused operations at Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers. This was to minimize the risk of exposing travelers and CBP personnel to COVID-19.
CBP has now announced that the Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers across the country will begin to reopen in early July.
As of July 6th, conditionally approved Global Entry, SENTRI and FAST (U.S.-Mexico) applicants will be able to complete their in-person interviews at most Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers in the U.S.
Applicants must schedule their enrollment center interviews in advance. They can do this by logging into their accounts on the Trusted Traveler Programs website. Interview availability will vary by location.
Not surprisingly, new COVID-related health and safety protocols will be in place at the enrollment centers. They include:
- CBP personnel at enrollment centers will be required to wear agency-approved masks when interacting with the public.
- All applicants and visitors at enrollment centers will be required to wear face coverings consistent with CDC recommendations and state and local mandates.
The enrollment centers will also have changes in them due to coronavirus. They include:
- Staggered or reduced appointment availability;
- The elimination of sign-in sheets and certain other touch points;
- Reduced seating in waiting areas;
- Plexiglass barriers at service counters; and
- Other measures to promote social distancing.
Submission of applicants’ fingerprints will still be required, but the cleaning frequency of these surfaces have been increased.
Trusted Traveler Program’s Enrollment on Arrival option has been available throughout the coronavirus crisis. CBP says that’s still the best way for conditionally approved Global Entry applicants to complete their enrollment process without having to pre-schedule an interview.
NEXUS and U.S.-Canada FAST interviews at U.S. and Canadian enrollment centers will remain suspended at this time and won’t reopen until at least August 10, if not later.
*** Feature Photo: U.S. CBP/Josh Denmark
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary