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Border Travel Restrictions to Canada and Mexico Will Continue in May

-Editorial

And so, the spring arrived, and with it another month that people without a visa will not be able to enter the United States. 

It’s been thirteen months ever since that international travel was restricted due to the pandemic and most likely will continue since the border area is in the orange tier and the vaccination process in Mexico is way behind California and the United States. 

These restrictions have affected the border community, especially Calexico, where several stores in the downtown area have been forced to close. 

The new 30-day extension is the second announced under President Joe Biden.

Mexico continues to decrease after peaking in the first week of January 2021.  As of April 1, Mexico City, Mexico State, Guanajuato, Puebla, and Queretaro report the highest number of active cases. As of April 6, Puebla is the only state reporting a hospital occupancy rate above 30 percent for regular COVID-19 beds. Mexican health authorities reiterated calls for people to follow prevention measures, including leaving home only for essential activities, maintaining social distance, washing hands frequently, and wearing masks (particularly indoors).  Schools remain closed in nearly all states. 

Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test (PCR or antigen) taken within three calendar days of travel.  Alternatively, travelers to the United States who have been sick and recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel may provide proof of a positive COVID-19 viral test along with documentation from a licensed health care provider confirming their recovery. 

No states are currently designated “red” under the federal stoplight system.

Seven states are designated “orange” under the federal system between March 29 and April 11 (Chihuahua, Hidalgo, Mexico City, Mexico State, Puebla, Queretaro, and Yucatan).  Under orange, hotels, restaurants, barbershops, open-air parks, and gyms are limited to 50 percent capacity.  Markets and supermarkets will operate at 75 percent capacity.  Shopping malls, churches, cinemas, theaters, museums, and cultural events will be limited to 25 percent capacity.

Eighteen states are designated “yellow” under the federal stoplight system between March 29 and April 11 (Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Michoacan, Morelos, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, and Zacatecas).  Under yellow, all work activities are permitted.  Public space may open on a regular basis, while enclosed public spaces can open with reduced capacity. All activities should be carried out with basic prevention measures. People at higher risk of developing COVID-19 symptoms should continue to take extra precautions.

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