The U.S. will slow traffic at select ports of entry on the southern border to limit the spread of novel coronavirus by travelers from or moving through Mexico, a Customs and Border Protection official confirmed on Saturday.
The new measures, first reported by Reuters, may increase wait times at ports of entry in San Diego, in Tucson, Arizona, and in El Paso and Laredo, Texas.
“We’re committed to continuing to facilitate cross border movement of essential travelers,” CBP spokesperson Nate Peeters said. “These measures are only intended to address non-essential travel with the ultimate goal of the further inhibiting the cross-border spread of COVID-19.” He said it’s still highly recommended that people only travel for essential purposes.
The restrictions on non-essential travel, set to continue through Sept. 21, do not apply to anyone crossing the border for work, school or medical treatment. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are still legally allowed to enter.
Non-essential travel has been limited at the border since March.