The US and Mexico prepare to reopen the border only for those vaccinated against the coronavirus

MEXICO CITY – The United States and Mexico will specify in the coming days the details of the total reopening in November the long common border, closed since last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but only for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with injections certified by the WHO.

On Wednesday, the Secretary of Homeland Security of the United States, Alejandro Mayorkas, is expected to formally announce that his country will lift the land border limitations with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign citizens at the beginning of November.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said earlier on Wednesday that they had been notified by US authorities on the matter, days after officials from both countries met in Mexico City.

“Secretary Mayorkas confirmed to me yesterday (Tuesday) night that, as of the first days of November – they will determine the exact date (and) we will announce it as soon as we know it – activities will resume. “Ebrard said.

“Land and air travel to the United States will be allowed for people who are vaccinated. The basis of global mobility is going to be vaccination,” he added.

The official explained that The United States will accept all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), although later López Obrador announced that he will ask the multilateral body to approve the injections against COVID-19 of all the pharmaceutical companies that have worked.

“We are going to ask the World Health Organization to finish giving the certificates to pharmaceutical companies around the world that have delivered vaccines that have proven their effectiveness and have not generated any health problems,” he said.

“For the World Health Organization to hurry up, it takes a long time (…) it has to act with rectitude, without political or ideological tendencies, with adherence to science,” he added.

Sputnik V and CanSino vaccines are not approved by WHO for emergency use. The Mexican government plans to inoculate 37% of its 126 million inhabitants with doses of CanSino and Sputnik V.

The closure of the 3,169-kilometer border dealt a blow to companies from both countries. In Texas border counties alone, the reduction in Mexican buyers and visitors caused about $ 4.9 billion in GDP losses in 2020, according to a report by the Baker Institute.

More than 950,000 people enter the United States from Mexico on foot or by car on a typical day, according to 2019 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data.

In order to fully reopen the border strip, which until now had been kept open only for essential activities, such as commerce, Mexico applied injections in neighboring municipalities from the pharmaceutical companies Janssen, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer.

Report by Ana Isabel Martínez and Raúl Cortés Fernández; Edited by Diego Oré

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