Border Restrictions Extended To Late February, Nearing First Full Year
In what has become a monthly ritual over nearly the last year, crossing restrictions have again been extended at the U.S.-Mexico border.
They will now go through at least Feb. 21, according to a Tuesday tweet from the Department of Homeland Security.
In order to continue to prevent the spread of #COVID, the US, Mexico, Canada will extend the restrictions on non-essential travel through Feb. 21. We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to keep essential trade & travel open while also protecting our citizens from the virus.— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) January 12, 2021
The agency does note that it is working with “counterparts in Mexico and Canada to identify appropriate public health conditions to safely ease restrictions in the future and support U.S. border communities.”
With minimal southbound enforcement, the restrictions have generally not impacted US citizens, whose return trips to the United States from Mexico are considered essential, according to federal rules. Many Mexicans, however, have not been able to cross into the United States since last spring.
Between March, when the restrictions went into effect, and September, the most recent month of federal data available, pedestrian and vehicle crossings at Arizona ports are down 56% and 46% respectively from a five-year average for that period. Crossings related to trade are exempted from the restrictions, and truck crossings are up modestly.