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The Eastern Time Zone (ET) is a time zone encompassing part or all of 23 states in the eastern part of the United States, parts of eastern Canada, the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico,
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
,
Colombia Colombia (, ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country in South America with insular regions in North America—near Nicaragua's Caribbean coast—as well as in the Pacific Ocean. The Colombian mainland is bordered by the Car ...
, mainland Ecuador, Peru, and a small portion of westernmost Brazil in South America, along with certain Caribbean and Atlantic islands. Places that use: * Eastern Standard Time (EST), when observing
standard time Standard time is the synchronisation of clocks within a geographical region to a single time standard, rather than a local mean time standard. Generally, standard time agrees with the local mean time at some meridian that passes through the ...
(autumn/winter), are five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time ( UTC−05:00). * Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), when observing
daylight saving time Daylight saving time (DST), also referred to as daylight savings time or simply daylight time (United States, Canada, and Australia), and summer time (United Kingdom, European Union, and others), is the practice of advancing clocks (typicall ...
(spring/summer), are four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time ( UTC−04:00). On the second Sunday in March, at 2:00 a.m. EST, clocks are advanced to 3:00 a.m. EDT leaving a one-hour "gap". On the first Sunday in November, at 2:00 a.m. EDT, clocks are moved back to 1:00 a.m. EST, thus "duplicating" one hour. Southern parts of the zone (Panama and the Caribbean) do not observe daylight saving time.


History

The boundaries of the Eastern Time Zone have moved westward since the
Interstate Commerce Commission The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was a regulatory agency in the United States created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The agency's original purpose was to regulate railroads (and later trucking) to ensure fair rates, to eliminat ...
(ICC) took over time-zone management from railroads in 1938. For example, the easternmost and northernmost counties in
Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States and one of the states of the Upper South. It borders Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to ...
were added to the zone in the 1940s, and in 1961 most of the state went Eastern. In 2000, Wayne County, on the Tennessee border, switched from Central to Eastern. Within the United States, the Eastern Time Zone is the most populous region, with nearly half of the country's population. In March 2019, the Florida Legislature passed a bill requesting authorization from
Congress A congress is a formal meeting of the representatives of different countries, constituent states, organizations, trade unions, political parties, or other groups. The term originated in Late Middle English to denote an encounter (meeting of a ...
for year-round daylight saving time, which would effectively put Florida on
Atlantic Standard Time The Atlantic Time Zone is a geographical region that keeps standard time—called Atlantic Standard Time (AST)—by subtracting four hours from Coordinated Universal Time ( UTC), resulting in UTC−04:00. AST is observed in parts of North America ...
year-round (except for west of the Apalachicola River, which would be on Eastern Standard Time year-round). A similar bill was proposed for the Canadian province of Ontario by its legislative assembly in late 2020, which would have a similar effect on the province if passed.


Daylight saving time

For those in the United States, daylight saving time for the Eastern Time Zone was introduced by the
Uniform Time Act The Uniform Time Act of 1966, , was a Law of the United States to "promote the adoption and observance of uniform time within the standard time zones" prescribed by the Standard Time Act of 1918. Its intended effect was to simplify the officia ...
of 1966, which specified that daylight saving time would run from the last Sunday of April until the last Sunday in October. The act was amended to make the first Sunday in April the beginning of daylight saving time beginning in 1987. Later, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended daylight saving time in the United States, beginning in 2007. Since then, local times change at 2:00 a.m. EST to 3:00 a.m. EDT on the second Sunday in March, and return from 2:00 a.m. EDT to 1:00 a.m. EST on the first Sunday in November. In Canada, daylight saving time begins and ends on the same days and at the same times as it does in the United States.


Canada

In Canada, the following provinces and territories are part of the Eastern Time Zone: Within Canada, as with the United States, the Eastern Time zone is the most populous time zone. * Most of Ontario * Most of Quebec * Most of
Nunavut Nunavut ( , ; iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ , ; ) is the largest and northernmost territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the ''Nunavut Act'' and the '' Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act'', w ...
Most of Canada observes daylight saving time synchronously with the United States, with the exception of Saskatchewan, Yukon, and several other very localized areas.


United States

The boundary between time zones is set forth in the
Code of Federal Regulations In the law of the United States, the ''Code of Federal Regulations'' (''CFR'') is the codification of the general and permanent regulations promulgated by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government of the United States. ...
, with the boundary between the Eastern and
Central Time Zone The North American Central Time Zone (CT) is a time zone in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, some Caribbean Islands, and part of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Central Standard Time (CST) is six hours behind Coordi ...
s being specifically detailed in 49 C.F.R. part 71. Washington, D.C. and 17 states are located entirely within the Eastern Time Zone. They are: *
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, New York to the west, and Long Island Sound to the south. Its cap ...
* Delaware * Georgia * Maine * Maryland * Massachusetts * New Hampshire * New Jersey * New York * North Carolina * Ohio * Pennsylvania * Rhode Island * South Carolina * Vermont * Virginia *
West Virginia West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States.The Census Bureau and the Association of American Geographers classify West Virginia as part of the Southern United States while the B ...
Five states are partly in the Eastern Time Zone, with the remaining portions in the Central Time Zone. The following locations observe Eastern Time: * Florida – peninsula and Big Bend regions east of the Apalachicola River along with portions of Gulf County south of the
Intracoastal Waterway The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is a inland waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States, running from Massachusetts southward along the Atlantic Seaboard and around the southern tip of Florida, then following ...
. * Indiana – all except for northwest ( Gary) and southwest ( Evansville) regions *
Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States and one of the states of the Upper South. It borders Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio to ...
– eastern 60%, including the state's three largest metropolitan areas: Louisville, Lexington,
Northern Kentucky Northern Kentucky is the third-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky after Louisville and Lexington, and its cities and towns serve as the de facto "south side" communities of Cincinnati, Ohio. The three main counties ...
* Michigan – all, except for the four
Upper Peninsula The Upper Peninsula of Michigan – also known as Upper Michigan or colloquially the U.P. – is the northern and more elevated of the two major landmasses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan; it is separated from the Lower Peninsula by ...
counties that border Wisconsin: Gogebic, Iron, Dickinson, and Menominee * TennesseeEast Tennessee Additionally, Phenix City, Alabama, and several nearby communities in
Russell County, Alabama Russell County is a county in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2020 census, the population was 59,183. Its county seat is Phenix City. Its name is in honor of Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, who fought in the wars aga ...
, unofficially observe Eastern Time. This is due to their close proximity to Columbus, Georgia, which is on Eastern Time.


Mexico

* Quintana Roo: This is the only Mexican state to observe EST. It moved from Central Time to Eastern Time after a successful lobbying effort by tourism interests. Quintana Roo does not observe daylight saving time.


Caribbean islands

The
Bahamas The Bahamas (), officially the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is an island country within the Lucayan Archipelago of the West Indies in the North Atlantic. It takes up 97% of the Lucayan Archipelago's land area and is home to 88% of the arc ...
and Haiti officially observe both Eastern Standard Time during the winter months and Eastern Daylight Time during the summer months. Cuba generally follows the U.S. with Eastern Standard Time in the winter, and Eastern Daylight Time in the summer, but the exact day of change varies year to year. The Cayman Islands and Jamaica use Eastern Standard Time year-round.


Turks and Caicos Islands

The Turks and Caicos Islands followed Eastern Time with daylight saving until 2015, when the territory switched to the
Atlantic Time Zone The Atlantic Time Zone is a geographical region that keeps standard time—called Atlantic Standard Time (AST)—by subtracting four hours from Coordinated Universal Time ( UTC), resulting in UTC−04:00. AST is observed in parts of North America ...
. The Turks and Caicos Islands switched back to the pre-2015 schedule in March 2018. A 2017 consultation paper highlighted the advantage for business and tourism of being in the same time zone as the
eastern United States The Eastern United States, commonly referred to as the American East, Eastern America, or simply the East, is the region of the United States to the east of the Mississippi River. In some cases the term may refer to a smaller area or the East C ...
as an important factor in the decision.


South America

In South America, the
Brazilian states Brazilian commonly refers to: * Something of, from or relating to Brazil * Brazilian Portuguese, the dialect of the Portuguese language used mostly in Brazil * Brazilians, the people (citizens) of Brazil, or of Brazilian descent Brazilian may als ...
of Acre and the southwest part of Amazonas use Eastern Standard Time. In 2008, Brazil changed the zone of these regions to be closer to that of the Brazilian Capital; however, the change was unpopular and thus undone in 2013. Additionally, the countries of Panama, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador (excluding the Galápagos Islands, which use Central Standard Time), also use Eastern Standard Time year-round.


See also

*
Effects of time zones on North American broadcasting The scheduling of television programming in North America (namely the United States, Canada, and Mexico) must cope with different time zones. The United States (excluding territories) has six time zones ( Hawaii–Aleutian, Alaska, Pacific, ...


References


External links


Official U.S. time in the Eastern time zone

North American Time Zone border data and images





History of U.S. time zones and UTC conversion





Official times across Canada


{{North American time zones Time in Canada Time in Mexico Time zones Time zones in the United States