Ports of entry back open for non-essential travel
The U.S.-Mexico border is officially back open to non-essential travelers.
For the first time since March of 2020, non-citizens are allowed to enter the U.S. for non-essential travel for things like shopping, eating or just visiting loved ones that they haven't been able to do see since the start of the pandemic.
But there's a catch: people coming across must be fully vaccinated and be able to provide documented proof of their COVID-19 vaccine. They also will need to answer a few more questions.
"Non-citizen travelers should be prepared to verbally attest to the COVID-19 vaccination and status for the reason for travel to the U.S.,” said Brownsville Port of Entry Director Tater Ortiz said during a press conference Friday.
Children younger than 18 can cross regardless of vaccine status. The same goes for essential travelers, including people going to and from work or school and truckers.
Valley officials, like Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. are hopeful for the future of the local economy.
"I know that we're going to recover and I hope that those people that lost their businesses hopefully get another opportunity to do that, but at least those that are still open have the hope and expectation that help is on the way that the commerce is coming back,” Treviño said Friday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials stress that the border port of entry reopening is only for those who have the legal documents to travel into the U.S.
CBP also says they are prepared for the increase in travel, but ask that people have their vaccination documents ready before crossing to help keep things moving quickly.