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News Around the Republic of Mexico 

Mexico Extends US Border Travel Ban until December 21

November 20, 2020

A sign reads, 'happy travels' in Spanish as traffic heads towards the United States on the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry bridge on June 02, 2019 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Mexico City - Non-essential travel restrictions on the Mexico-U.S. land border will be extended for another month, Mexico's Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday. Both countries agreed to extend the restriction until 11:59 pm on December 21, 2020.

The U.S. leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths, while Mexico ranks eleventh worldwide in the number of cases reported. However, cases are rising in both countries.

"After reviewing developments regarding the spread of COVID-19 in both countries - and because various states are on orange (threat level) - Mexico proposed to the United States the extension by one month of non-essential land traffic in our common border," the Mexican Foreign Ministry said late Wednesday via its official Twitter account.

The Ministry said the restrictions will remain in place as implemented back on March 21. That's when both countries decided that unrestricted border travel would lead to a further spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement drew criticism on social media from Mexicans who complain that no one is stopping Americans from coming into Mexico. While U.S. tourists haven't been permitted to drive into Mexico since March 21, there have been no restrictions on flying into the country since the early days of the pandemic.

Likewise, a Canadian government source in Ottawa said the travel restrictions in place at the Canada-U.S. land border would remain in effect for at least another month.

The current restrictions were set to expire on Saturday, November 21 but the three countries were expected to approve another 30-day extension, officials said.

"Non-essential travel" includes trips that are considered tourist or recreational in nature. So, while commercial traffic continues to flow between the three countries, merchants in border cities who rely on cross-border shoppers for their Christmas sales are disappointed.