07262021Mon
Last updateFri, 23 Jul 2021 9am

US/Mexico border primed to reopen in July, sources say

The U.S.-Mexico border should reopen for non-essential travel before the end of next month, sources on both sides of the border are telling media outlets.

The positive noises came after the Mexican government this week received a donation from the United States of 1.35 million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, to be administered exclusively to adults over the age of 18 in 39 northern border municipalities, chiefly around the urban areas of Tijuana, Mexicali, Ciudad Juarez and Reynosa.

At the same time, many counties in southern Texas are reporting encouraging levels of vaccination, in some places as high as 80 percent.

The U.S.-Mexico border has been closed to tourists heading in either direction since mid-March 2020. Citizens and legal residents of both countries are exempt, as are foreigners traveling for health-related reasons.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said he doesn’t expect the frontier to reopen before the July 4 holiday, but certainly before the end of the month. He noted that authorities in both El Paso and Ciudad Juarez have already started preparing for the anticipated surge in visitors.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas met with Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in Mexico City this week, when the border reopening issue was reportedly high on the agenda. Ebrard said one criteria for reopening is likely to be the percentages of vaccinated residents in cities on both sides of the border.

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