Officials in the Mexican state of Sonora moved decisively to shut their border before the Fourth of July weekend which is traditionally a time of heavy crossings into Mexico as Americans head south to celebrate the Holiday. A reopening date has not been announced, suggesting the closing is not temporary.
“We are all going to be on alert at this time to prevent them from coming, whether they are Mexicans living in the U.S., Americans or those who want to come to spend the weekend and put a greater burden on us regarding COVID,” Senora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich said in a statement.
It would be hard to blame officials in Sonora for making their decision in looking to protect its citizens. There are close to 9,000 confirmed Covid19 cases in Sonora and over 900 deaths as of Wednesday. And their neighbor directly to the north, Arizona, is setting records, almost daily, for new Covid19 positive cases.
Sonora’s health minister, Enrique Clausen, petitioned the federal government in Mexico City for tighter control of border crossings into the state.
“It’s so important to implement the necessary measures to protect the health of Sonorans. And one of them, at this moment, has to be reducing the border crossings from the United States towards Mexico,” Clausen said this week.
While the focus has been on border crossings in Arizona, the restrictions are going to apply to all Americans, regardless of where they’re traveling from, officials said.
Checkpoints at all four Sonoran border crossings will turn away visitors not traveling on essential business. Additionally, Pavlovich said she will ban all U.S. travelers from visiting Sonora’s beaches.
President Trump was widely criticized for closing U.S. borders to travelers out the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic as well as for wanting stricter border crossing enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Photo by Ken Lund