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Mayor Gloria, State and Local Leaders Celebrate Resumption of Travel at U.S./Mexico Border


Monday, Nov. 8, 2021


SAN DIEGO Following months of advocacy to lift cross-border travel restrictions at land ports of entry, Mayor Todd Gloria was joined today by state, local and Mexico leaders at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, one of the busiest land border crossings in the world, to commemorate the resumption of non-essential travel across the U.S./Mexico border for fully vaccinated individuals.

"After much anticipation and advocacy, Im thankful the day is finally here to celebrate cross-border travel resuming, Mayor Todd Gloria said. "As much as today is about finally being able to bolster our local economy and the businesses who rely on cross-border commerce, it is also about people families who can now be reunited after being restricted from crossing the border for nearly 20 months. I want to thank the Biden-Harris Administration for hearing our call and taking this action.

The U.S./Mexico border has been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020. Mayor Gloria along with State and local officials, have been advocating for these restrictions to be lifted for months, citing economic losses to the region and cultural impacts to border communities.

Recibimos con beneplácito la apertura de la frontera entre México y Estados Unidos y celebramos la reunión de nuevo de la convivencia entre los habitantes de ambos estados vecinos, said Baja California Governor Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda.

As of today, all individuals crossing the border over the age of 18 who are not U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents are required to carry proof of vaccination. Starting in January 2022, all individuals who are not U.S. Citizens or legal permanent residents must be fully vaccinated in order to cross the border. More information on what is considered fully vaccinated and proof of vaccination can be found on the CDC website.

Today, after more than 18 months of pandemic-related travel restrictions, DHS is taking a critical step toward resuming normal travel, said Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. Travelers who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation are now permitted to enter the United States via our land and ferry border crossings for non-essential reasons such as visiting friends and family and engaging in tourism. DHS continues to work closely with our international partners and domestic public health experts to sustainably resume travel while protecting our communities and economic security.

As the volume of travelers across the border continues to increase, officials are advising the public to plan for longer wait times at ports of entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection recommend that non-essential travelers do not cross during peak travel times, which are 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and 2:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Saturday through Sunday.

"La espera ha terminado, estamos contentos de anunciar la reapertura y reiniciar actividades en ambas fronteras. Gracias por su paciencia, gracias al Alcalde Gloria por su apoyo y continua colaboración para ser esto posible, said Mayor of Tijuana, Montserrat Caballero.

To further alleviate increased wait times, please use the appropriate lanes and complete I-94 Forms online prior to crossing, if needed. The San Ysidro and Otay Mesa Ports of Entry will remain open 24/7 and the Tecate Port of Entry will be open 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

What others are saying:

With the border reopening for non-essential travel, border communities can finally begin to recover from COVID-19, said U.S. Congressman Juan Vargas. After more than a year-and-a-half of restrictions, the border economy can once again be supported and loved ones can finally be reunited. For a successful reopening, it is essential for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to plan for surges and provide clear guidance to travelers.

"The pandemic has had an especially drastic impact on our border region due to long-standing inequities and underinvestment in the area, said California State Senator Ben Hueso, representative for the entirety of California's border with Mexico and chairs the Senate Select Committee on California-Mexico Cooperation. As we celebrate today's reopening, we must also commit to making new investments in the region, not only to help our shared economy rebound, but also to better prepare us for future pandemics.

"The lifting of non-essential travel restrictions will bring much-needed relief for our region both in terms of our economy and socially for our families, said Nora Vargas, Vice Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. This is a big step forward and it presents an opportunity to find new ways of elevating our binational workforce and to reimagine what a full economic recovery will look like in our binational region.

"I am proud to help welcome back our neighbors from Mexico to San Diego, said Mayor of Imperial Beach, Serge Dedina. "During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to invest in opening up our border region so we can promote the ties between our two countries, our economies and our communities in order to improve the quality of life and our shared environment for the benefit of all.

"As the San Diego City Councilmember representing the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa border communities, today is a great day as we celebrate the reopening of the U.S./Mexico border, said San Diego City Councilmember Vivian Moreno, representative for District 8. "Border communities have been disproportionately impacted by the closure of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the busiest port of entry in the Western Hemisphere, and todays reopening will help our border communities rise and flourish again.

"The lifting of border restrictions unleashes economic transactions and a cross-border tourism boost, said Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, Ambassador Carlos González Gutiérrez. "More importantly, it means that thousands of friends, family members and communities will reestablish the continuous contact that used to exist before the pandemic. Those human bonds are the most important connection between San Diego and Mexico.

"With our shared 2,000-mile border and at least 35 million U.S. citizens with family ties to Mexico, we are truly two nations with one future, said Tijuana Consul General, Thomas E. Reott.

"Serving the cross-border tourist is our livelihood in San Ysidro, said CEO of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, Jason Wells. "This is not a border re-opening; it is our communitys revival.