U.S. extends border restrictions with Mexico, Canada to July 21

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The U.S. has agreed with both Canada and Mexico to keep borders closed to non-essential travel to July 21 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday’s agreement extends the closure by another 30 days.

The restrictions were announced on March 18 and were extended in April and May. Americans who are returning to the U.S. and Canadians who are returning to Canada are exempted from the border closure.

Mexico

Meanwhile, travel restrictions at the U.S.-Mexico border will also be extended an additional month, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said.

The restrictions in place since March 21 apply to non-essential land traffic from Mexico to the U.S. and from the U.S. to Mexico. The point is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from one country to another. The current restrictions were set to expire on June 22.

In a series of tweets Tuesday morning, the Ministry and the Mexican Embassy in the United States said the decision comes after both countries reviewed the COVID-19 situation and found need to extend the restrictions.

“Both countries continue trying to coordinate sanitary measures in the border region. The (travel restrictions) will remain current until July 21, 2020,” the Foreign Ministry said.

In practical terms, the restrictions mean that U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents can cross the border back into the United States, but foreign visa holders mostly cannot. Commercial traffic continues to flow between the two countries, but merchants in border cities who depend on tourism are hurting.

U.S. residents are only supposed to go to Mexico for essential or emergency reasons. Mexican officials at various ports of entry have set up medical checkpoints where a traveler’s temperature is taken and he’s asked if suffering from flu-like symptoms or coughing.

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