COVID-19: Mexico, U.S., Canada extend non-essential travel restrictions until October

The border restrictions were first implemented back in March over the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19: Mexico, U.S., Canada extend non-essential travel restrictions until October
Motorists cross into Mexico from the United States through El Chaparral Point of Entry during the coronavirus pandemic in San Diego, California – Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP
English 18/09/2020 16:21 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Ariadna García/EL UNIVERSAL & EFE Actualizada 16:21

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The governments of Mexico and the U.S. agreed Thursday to extend one more month the restrictiosn to non-essential travel at their shared land border that expired on September 21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Both countries will coordinate the health measures in the border region that will be valid until 23:59 of October 21, 2020,” said Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (SRE) in its social networks.

The SRE asserted that the restrictions will remain “in the same terms” since they were first implemented on March 21, when non-essential land travel was restricted, but agreed to allow transit for commercial, educational, or health reasons.

At first, the restrictions would only last for 30 days until April, however, since then, both countries have extended the measures limiting travel for tourism or recreational purposes month after month.

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This time, it was the Mexican government that proposed the extension of the restrictions that have never been applied to commercial flights.

“After reviewing the development of the spread of COVID-19, Mexico proposed the United States to extend, one more month, the non-essential travel restrictions in our shared border,” said the SRE.

People in northern Mexico has denounced that, while they are denied to cross the border, American citizens are allowed to enter into Mexican territory to buy medicines, groceries, and do activities that are not allowed in their region.

Mexican citizens have expressed their concerns because California, Arizona, and Texas, all of them U.S. border states, are in the first spots of COVID-19 cases in the neighboring country.

Nonetheless, Donald Trump said a month ago that Tijuana “is the most infected place in South America” by “the Chinese plague.”

“Mexico is very infected but the Wall is preventing people from crossing,” he said at an event in Arizona.

The Mexico-U.S. border, which covers over 3,000 km, is one of the most active borders in the world with over 1 million people crossing every day and a daily exchange of goods and services worth USD $1.7 billion.

To date, Mexico is the 7th country with more COVID-19 cases and the 4th in the number of deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

However, the same university lists the U.S. in the first spot for both rates with almost 6.5 million cases and about to surpass 200,000 COVID-19-related deaths.

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For its part, Canada joined the extensión of its shared land border with the u.S. until October 21 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many Canadians fear reopening since the United States has more COVID-19 cases and deaths than any other country in the world.

Canada’s Public Security Minister Bill Blair said Friday that they will keep taking the decision base on the best public health recommendations available to protect Canadians.

Canada has registered a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Ontario, the largest province in that country, reported 401 new cases on Friday.

Essential workers – such as healthcare workers, airline crew members, and bus drivers – are allowed to cross the border. Bus drivers are important because they transport food and medical supplies in both directions. Most part of Canada’s food supplies come from the U.S.

American citizens returning to the U.S. and Canadians returning to their country are also exempt from the border restrictions.

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