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18 Nov 2020 | 10:53 PM UTC

Authorities to extend land border closure with US until December 21

Authorities to extend land border closure with US until December 21; follow authorities’ directives

entry/exit
health
transportation
MEX

Event

Mexican and US authorities agreed to extend the closure of their mutual land border until at least December 21 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The measure first came into effect in March and was due to expire on November 21. All nonessential overland, cross-border travel, including recreation and tourism is prohibited; however, freight and medical transport are exempt from the ban. The restrictions do not cover travel by air or essential business travel.

Mexico has adopted a four-tier color-coded COVID-19 alert level system, with restrictions varying in increasing measure from green through yellow and orange to red. Most states are currently either under the yellow or orange alert level, meaning capacities are limited in businesses, hospitality sector establishments, and other public places, but movement is generally unrestricted.

As of Wednesday, November 18, there have been 1,011,153 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mexico with 99,026 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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