United States President Donald Trump announced Friday that his administration would suspend nonessential travel across the U.S.-Mexico border.
“As we did with Canada, we’re also working with Mexico to implement new rules at our ports of entry to suspend nonessential travel,” he said. “These new rules and procedures will not impede lawful trade and commerce.”
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told the press conference that medical, emergency response and public health purposes are also considered essential travel, as is travel to attend an educational institution.
“Essential activities will not be impacted. We will continue to maintain a strong and secure economic supply chain across our borders,” he said.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the partial border closure would begin on Saturday and also assured reporters that the economy would not be affected.
“Both countries know the importance of working together to limit the spread of the virus and ensure the commerce that supports our economy continues to keep flowing,” he said. “The United States is glad to have a friend that is working side by side with us in the fight.”
He added that the restrictions would be in effect “as long as necessary” in order to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
President Trump also announced that Mexico would be suspending air travel from Europe but the Mexican government said otherwise.
Airlines like Aeroméxico are scaling down service to and from Europe, but the Mexican government has no intention of canceling flights, said Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.
“We’re trying to move ahead because the position of Mexico is not to cancel flights, but we understand that there must be restrictions,” he said.