Travelling in the United States during the US Government shutdown
With the US Government in shutdown mode, most federal employees are currently off the job until further notice: but it’s not all bad news for business travellers heading Stateside.
That’s because ‘essential’ government workers – a roster that includes airport security screening staff, and officers manning US passport control desks and Customs queues at international airports – are still required to turn up for work, keeping any delays for passengers to a minimum.
It’s also business as usual for air traffic controllers in the United States and for the nation’s Amtrak railway system: so whether your travels are on the ground or in the air, getting where you need to go shouldn’t be a problem.
Other public transport workers – including bus, ferry, train and subway drivers – generally aren’t affected by the federal government shutdown as they’re employees of their city or state, not the US federal government, so these services will also run as normal.
However, business travellers planning meetings with federal regulators and agencies during their trip should check whether those meetings will still take place, or consider rescheduling their appointments until a later date when government operations are in full swing.
Members of the legal community engaged in civil court cases in the United States may also find their hearings postponed.
Business and leisure travellers alike may also find some national landmarks and attractions closed during the shutdown, although the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York City – initially closed due to the shutdown – have since reopened to visitors.
Also read: Your guide to business etiquette in the United States