South Texas leaders on Monday met with Mexican health and community leaders who said that due to the spike in cases south of the border, international travel restrictions will likely be extended through June 30, Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz said.
During a noon video briefing on Monday with media, Saenz said that that earlier Monday, he and Dr. Hector Gonzalez, director of the Laredo Health Department, met with Mexican community and health officials who told them that Mexican officials are inclined to extend international bridge travel restrictions due to the escalating number of COVID-19 cases in the country. However, Saenz cautioned that these talks are ongoing and not the definitive word, which will come from the White House and Mexican president.
“Dr. Gonzalez and I met with our counterparts from Mexico and, of course, the concern is about what this COVID has done to both our cities and nations,” Saenz said. “And because of the rising cases, they foresee the extension of these restrictions through June 30. … This hasn’t been confirmed or stated by any new official, but it appears we’re heading that way.”
Travel restrictions were put in place on March 20 between the United States, Mexico
But Mexico is just now beginning to see its peak of cases, health authorities say.
Most of the new cases reported in Tamaulipas on Sunday occurred in Matamoros, where 21
Gonzalez said that health officials in Laredo are working with Mexican authorities and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to identify and isolate any cross-border travelers who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
“We want to increase surveillance on both sides of the border, at this point there have been persons detected at the ports of entry exhibiting symptoms,” Gonzalez said. “We had a discussion that if we have an infectious person we isolate them and take the precautions. If we need to expatriate them, we would coordinate with Mexico’s health authority for them to be returned appropriately at the right time.”
Laredo officials on Monday reported there has been a total of 470 COVID-19 cases in the city and surrounding Webb County. Officials reported the 18th fatality from the novel virus on Saturday of an 80-year-old woman at Laredo Medical Center.
Sandra Sanchez can be reached at Ssanchez@borderreport.com.
Visit BorderReport.com for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the United States-Mexico border.