Donald Trump will close the southern border to all but ‘essential travel’ bringing Mexico in line with Canada today as homeland security boss says tourism and recreation need to STOP

Friday, March 20, 2020
By Paul Martin

Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said the U.S. will close its southern border with Mexico on Friday to all but cargo and essential travel
The moves comes after President Donald Trump closed the United States’ norther border with Canada on Wednesday
‘Tourism, recreational activities, and other things need to stop during this,’ Wolf told reporters Friday morning at the White House
There are 118 coronavirus cases currently in Mexico and 13,159 in the U.S.
Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

20 March 2020

President Donald Trump on Friday announced a closing of the U.S. southern border with Mexico, putting it on par with an earlier closer of the norther border with Canada.

‘Both northern and southern border – they’re both being treated equally,’ the president said during a briefing on the virus.

‘The actions we are taking together with our North American partners will save countless lives,’ he said.

Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said earlier the border would be closed to everything but cargo and essential travel.

He noted officials were ‘really looking at limiting non essential travel across that border. We want to make sure that cargo continues, trade continues, healthcare workers continue to be able to traverse that border. But tourism, recreational activities, and other things need to stop during this.’

There are 118 coronavirus cases currently in Mexico and over 14,000 in the U.S.

The closure has been expected since the U.S. closed its northern border with Canada to all but essential travel as the countries work to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a tweet on Thursday, said he was working closely with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard, his Mexican counterpart, ‘on travel restrictions that balance protecting our citizens from further transmission of #COVID19.’

Details of the planned Southern closure haven’t been released but are expected to be similar to the arrangement made with Canada.

That would mean trade would not be affected. Mexico is the United States’ largest trading partner, just ahead of Canada.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials briefed business leaders Thursday on plans to prohibit non-essential travel with Mexico, similar to a measure announced earlier this week on the Canadian border, Paola Avila, chair of the Border Trade Alliance, a business group, told the Associated Press.

U.S. officials provided a long list of ‘essential’ workers that would be unaffected going to and from their jobs, including farmworkers, restaurant and grocery store employees and bus drivers, Avila said. Mexico was preparing similar restrictions on visitors from the United States.

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