US and Mexico agree to close southern border for non-essential travel

Posted at 11:10 AM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 14:10:52-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The U.S. and Mexico agreed to restrict "non-essential travel" at the U.S.-Mexico border in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus, White House officials announced Friday.

The agreement, which will go into effect at 12 a.m. Saturday, does not apply to transportation of commercial goods and other "lawful trade and commerce," President Trump said.

"As we did with Canada, we're also working with Mexico to implement new rules at our ports of entry to suspend non-essential travel," Trump said.

The temporary closure applies mainly to recreational travel across the border. It follows the agreement between the U.S. and Canada to close the northern border to non-essential travel, which was announced Wednesday. The restrictions will be reviewed after 30 days, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

The State Department also issued a travel alert on Thursday urging Americans not to travel abroad and to return to the U.S. unless they are prepared to remain overseas for an extended period.