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Border businesses still struggling despite move orange tier

Posted at 6:00 AM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 09:00:45-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Not every business in San Diego will benefit from the county's move into the less restrictive orange COVID-19 reopening tier. Business owners along the border say the move doesn't really help them because of border travel restrictions still in place.

The travel restrictions were implemented in March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Travel across the border was only allowed for essential reasons, for things like work, school, or medical care, and for U.S. citizens.

Since the closure, about 156 businesses in San Ysidro have closed permanently. During a normal year, retail sales on San Ysidro Boulevard are usually around 900 million dollars. Last year, the number was less than 250 million.

San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jason Wells said he doesn't think the restrictions are in place for health concerns, instead says they were a political move by former President Trump. Wells cites the fact that roughly 110,000 people are still crossing the border every day.

On Wednesday, the Border Trade Alliance sent a letter to President Biden asking for the borders to reopen.

So far, there is no word on when these travel restrictions will be lifted.