The U.S. will lift pandemic travel restrictions next month at land border crossings with Mexico and Canada for fully vaccinated individuals.
The border has been closed for nonessential travel since March of 2020. Only people crossing to work, to go to school or to get medical care were allowed. But those limits put pressure on border-area businesses that depend on customers from Mexico. Many saw sales plummet since shopping is not considered an essential reason for crossing the border.
Visiting relatives is also considered nonessential. El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar says that has created hardship on both sides of the border.
“It’s the heartache that many of our families have endured, keeping folks apart, having folks miss birthdays, anniversaries, holidays,” Escobar said.