Photo: NPR

XINHUA

Mexico and the United States have agreed to extend a ban on nonessential cross-border travel by land until July 21, amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE) said Tuesday, June 17.

The decision to extend the ban, which began on March 21, by another 30 days followed an assessment of the outbreaks that are developing in the two neighboring countries, the SRE announced via Twitter.

“Both countries will continue to seek to coordinate health measures along the border region,” the tweet said.

The ban restricts travel for tourism or leisure, but allows border trade to continue, as well as travel for medical purposes.

The United States currently has the world’s largest covid-19 outbreak, with more than 2 million cases of infections and over 110,000 deaths from the disease.

Mexico (where testing has been at a minimum and covid cases are extremely underreported) has registered more than 150,000 cases of coronavirus infection and 17,580 deaths.

Before the pandemic, the border cities of Tijuana, in Mexico’s northern state of Baja California, and San Diego, California, represented one of the busiest land border crossing in the western hemisphere.

Canada followed suit by extending its lockdown for U.S. and Mexican citizens through July 21.

The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will replace the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), is due to be implemented on July 1.

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