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Mexico, US extend ban on non-essential cross-border travel amid pandemic

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-06-17 09:30
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US Customs and Border Protection agents on the US side tell people on the Mexican side to stand back at the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, March 31, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

MEXICO CITY - Mexico and the United States have agreed to extend a ban on non-essential cross-border travel by land until July 21, amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, Mexico's Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Tuesday.

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

"Both countries will continue to seek to coordinate health measures along the border region," said the ministry.

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

The United States 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 has reported more than 150,000 cases of infection and 17,580 deaths.

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

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