Mexico, US extend partial border closure until Sept. 21 due to COVID-19

Saturday, 2020-08-15 09:30:20
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A medical worker takes a swab sample from a man for COVID-19 test in Mexico City, Mexico, Aug. 13, 2020. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico has surpassed the half-a-million mark, as the government announced Thursday that the country will help produce a vaccine that could be distributed in Latin America next year. (Photo: Xinhua)
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Restrictions on non-essential land traffic along the border between Mexico and the United States will be extended until Sept. 21 due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Mexican Foreign Ministry announced on August 14.

According to the ministry, Mexico proposed the extension of the partial closure of the border for another month after reviewing the development of the pandemic in both countries.

The measure, implemented on March 21 along the common border, restricts travel for tourism or recreational purposes but permits commercial, medical and essential work-related travel.

"Both countries will try to coordinate health measures in the border region that will be in effect until 11:59 p.m. local time on September 21, 2020," the Mexican Foreign Ministry said via Twitter.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced on August 13 that Mexico had asked the United States to extend the measure as the pandemic was re-emerging in US states bordering Mexico.

"Right now, they have a resurgence (of the disease) in the south, so the border cannot be opened right now, and in some (Mexican) states, we are more or less going down," Ebrard explained.

Under normal circumstances, thousands of people cross the common border every day for work, school and tourism purposes. By Sept. 21, the border will have been partially closed for six months.

The United States is the country that has been the most heavily affected by the pandemic, with over 5 million cases and over 160,000 deaths, while Mexico has registered more than 500,000 cases and over 55,000 deaths.