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Border travel restrictions extended for another month

Posted at 5:57 AM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 08:57:09-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The travel restrictions along the U.S.-Mexico border have been extended for at least another month, now continuing through Feb. 21.

The border has been closed to all non-essential travel since March 21, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Officials have extended the closure every month since.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents don't fall under the travel restriction, and they are free to travel to and from Mexico. Anyone seeking a tourist or border-crossing visa to enter the U.S. is not allowed.

The border closures have devastated businesses in San Ysidro. According to the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, 125 out of the roughly 800 businesses in the region have closed for good. Jason Wells, the chamber's executive director, feels the closures are a political move by the Trump administration.

"It's not based on health; there's 110,000 people still crossing between California and Baja California every day," says Wells.

Wells explains that he is not a COVID-19 disbeliever and that he is on board with all safety guidelines, but says the closures don't make sense since there are still people traveling to and from the country every day.

News of the travel restriction extension comes on the same day that Tijuana was supposed to receive it's first shipment of coronavirus vaccines. ABC 10News' reporting partner in Mexico, Televisa, confirmed the arrival was delayed until Wednesday morning, when the first health care workers will be vaccinated.

Tijuana has its own vaccine rollout plan -- health care workers will come first and then the vaccines will go to people from youngest to oldest.

Businesses hope the restrictions will be lifted soon so their businesses can survive.