U.S.-Mexico border reopens after 20 months

09 Nov 2021

As the Mexico-U.S. border reopened to non-essential travel on Monday, there were fewer crossings than forecast following the closure for 20 months due to the pandemic.

According to officials in Tijuana, people didn’t take advantage of the easing of restrictions along the 3,200-kilometre border due to concerns of traffic chaos.

Tijuana transport official, Javier Delgado stated there was around 35% less traffic than predicted at the city’s border with San Diego, one of the busiest in the world, Reuters reports.

Mexico’s foreign ministry said the first day of the reopening had progressed "without incident."

"The border flow is expected to increase over the weekend and progressively as the holidays approach and starting with Black Friday," the ministry added.

However, the opposing rules in terms of Covid vaccines continue to cause confusion. Despite being vaccinated, some Mexicans will not be permitted immediate entry into the U.S. if their vaccines have not been approved by the World Health Organization, such as China's CanSino and Russia's Sputnik V.

Indeed, to enter the United States, Mexican nationals will need to show proof of vaccination approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention. The proof, such as a vaccination card, can be in either English or Spanish and physical or electronic format. Travellers must have the proof of vaccination with them at all times.

The Trump administration closed the land borders to everyone except U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and any other travellers deemed essential – such as health care workers - in March 2020 to attempt to curb the spread of the virus. Mexican nationals with tourist visas were not permitted to enter the U.S.

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