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COVID-19, travel restrictions may reduce the number of Winter Texans

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The coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions at the U.S.-Canada border may reduce the number of Winter Texans who visit the Rio Grande Valley, according to the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.

Roberto López — the vice president of Visit McAllen, which is part of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce — said he expects fewer Winter Texans from Canada to visit the Valley because of coronavirus-related travel restrictions.

The travel restrictions could hurt the Valley economy.

Winter Texans contribute about $760 million to the local economy, according to an analysis conducted by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

While travel restrictions may stop Canadian citizens from visiting the Valley, many Winter Texans from the Midwest are still expected to make the trip.

After they arrive, Winter Texans should stay home for 10 to 14 days as a precaution, said Dr. Linda Villarreal. They should also take commonsense steps to reduce the risk posed by COVID-19, including wearing face masks, following social distancing guidelines and washing their hands frequently.

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