Mexico and U.S. extend 30 days more the common border closure

The Mexican government asked the United States to extend the partial closure of the border due to the coronavirus epidemic in both countries.

Mexico and the United States agreed to extend until August 21 the closure of their land border for non-essential travel, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, amid a rise in Covid-19 infections in both countries.

At Mexico's request, the ban will be maintained "on the same terms" imposed since its implementation on March 21, the Foreign Ministry (SRE) said on its Twitter account.

The decision to maintain the partial closure of the border comes after last Friday, during an election tour of Florida, U.S. President Donald Trump said that thanks to the border fence with Mexico, his country was not "flooded" with Covid-19.

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This is the third time that both nations have restricted land crossings on their common border.

The restrictions in place do not prevent the commercial transit of food, fuel, health care equipment, and medicines. On March 21, Mexico and the United States closed their borders for non-essential travel, that is, for recreational or tourist purposes.

In addition, they have also slowed down the migration process in the United States, leaving, according to NGO reports, thousands of migrants stranded on the northern Mexican border.

However, the restrictions in place do not prevent the commercial transit of food, fuel, health care equipment, and medicines across the border between the two countries.

Mexico's border with the United States, which extends more than 3,000 kilometers, is also one of the most active in the world with more than one million people crossing every day, and goods and services worth $1.7 billion are exchanged daily.

It's not time to travel to Mexico yet: Ambassador Landau

The U.S. ambassador in Mexico, Christopher Landau, considered that while the travel alert level 4 issued in his country is in effect (due to the crisis of the Covid-19), he cannot encourage his compatriots to come as tourists despite the proximity and the attractions that exist, and although "it will not stay forever," until there is a vaccine, it will be possible to return to previous levels.

"Last year 32 million of my fellow countrymen arrived in Mexico for tourism. This had a great economic impact, creates many jobs, and in our town, it is beneficial to get to know this neighboring country. It is a win-win situation. The pandemic has hit the tourism sector harder than any other sector," he said.

In a webinar organized by the Mixed Fund for Tourism Promotion in Mexico (FMPT), Landau explained that health and economic issues complicate in the short term the flow of travelers to Mexico, which has in the U.S. its main issuing market.

"Suddenly everything changed and we are in a very difficult economic situation. Things are already starting to open up, but we have seen a resurgence in some places. The situation is not easy for people who want to travel and feel safe," he said.

In his participation, Humberto Hernández-Haddad, Undersecretary of Quality and Regulation of the Ministry of Tourism, said that one of the challenges they now face is to generate with the U.S. a program to reactivate road and border tourism. He even invited the ambassador to have a talk, as soon as circumstances permit, with the head of the agency, Miguel Torruco.