Friday, December 1, 2023

US extends land border closure for another month

The United States extended restrictions at its land borders with Mexico and Canada on Monday until at least October 21. That bars nonessential travel such as tourism.

The U.S. land borders have been closed for nearly 18 months, since March 2020, when access to southern states was stopped to address the spread of COVID-19. The controls have been reviewed on a monthly basis since then, but the policy has remained in place. Canada opened its border to fully vaccinated U.S. visitors for nonessential travel on August 9.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients was curt on the possibility of policy change. “We do not have any updates to the land border policies at this point,” he told reporters Monday.

Mexico has been pushing for a reopening of the border and prioritized the vaccination of residents of border communities to that end. President López Obrador announced Tuesday at his morning press conference that all adults in border states would receive their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine by the following day. At the same conference, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell confirmed that COVID-19 case numbers were falling in all 32 states.

The declining third wave of COVID-19 is reflected in the new coronavirus stoplight risk map, issued Friday by the federal Ministry of Health. At high risk and colored orange are four states, down from 13. No states are at maximum risk red, and four are green.

Meanwhile, Zients also announced that the U.S. will re-open access to air travelers from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

With reports from Reuters

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