By Sandra G. Leon
Non-essential travel from Mexico to the US resumed yesterday after more than 19 months of COVID restrictions, but proof of vaccinations is required except for US citizens, permanent US residents, or essential travelers with H1b or H2b visas.
The travel restrictions first put into place early last year when the COVID pandemic first began ended at midnight on Monday morning. Travel between the US and Mexico was limited to essential traffic, including commercial, medical, educational, government, or military travel. Tourism travel was limited for non-US citizens.
Businesses in San Diego County, especially in border areas, have suffered from reduced traffic during the travel restrictions. Local elected officials, including Congressional members, have advocated for the lifting of the restrictions.
A group of mayors and other San Diego and Mexico officials, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, San Diego Councilwoman Vivian Moreno, County Supervisor Nora Vargas, and the Mayors of Chula Vista and Imperial Beach, were on hand to celebrate the reopening of cross-border travel.
Under the newly-relaxed rules, travelers into the US who are not exempted from COVID mandates must verbally attest to the reason for their travel and their vaccination status, and may be asked to show proof of vaccination in the form of verifiable paper or electronic documentation as outlines in CDC guidelines.
The CDC guidelines include having one of the three approved vaccines (Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Moderna), proper documentation, and being at least 14 days after the last dosage was administered.