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Head of Ministry announces border restrictions in place for US, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico — The head of the Ministry of Foreign Relations for Mexico says that the northern border with the US is not closed for trade, but that restrictions have been placed to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

In a Mexico CIty press conference, Marcelo Ebrard, Secretario de Relaciones Exteriores de México, says that the northern border of Mexico will not close for trade with the US, but there will be restrictions.

“We have had talks with the United States regarding our northern border and the measures that are being taken to reduce the possible spread of the virus which does not affect the economic activity of people,” said Ebrard.

Ebrard explained that the Trump government contacted them to agree on what could be done at the border. “What has been agreed upon for a coronavirus risk reduction does not affect economic activities,” he said, adding that before making the decision, the two countries cataloged essential activities including people who work in the United States along with essential services and emergency services, among others.

The Foreign Affairs head also urged people living along the border to refrain from making trips that are not essential. “The agreement is to promote that people in the border areas abstain from making non-essential trips,” he said.

Ebrard also clarified that there are no air restriction agreements. He says the idea is to curtail travel, adding that there is no ban on people traveling between the U.S. and Mexico for work or other essential activities and there would be no halt to commercial traffic.

By excluding commercial traffic from the ban, the two governments substantially softened the economic effects. “Everyone else is not expected to have any difficulties,” he said. “We’re not talking about closing it.”

Fewer Americans are heading to Mexico due to a State Department warning about non-essential travel. Earlier this week, the state of California also implemented a stay-at-home order.