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City releases health protocols for potential bridge reopening

COVID cases continue to rise in the gateway city but the rate of new cases has slowed down, which is a contributing factor to officials pushing to reopen the borders to non-essential travel.
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 10:07 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - If you have plans to visit family or go holiday shopping in mexico, you’ll want to make sure you know what to expect beforehand.

Last week, Congressman Henry Cuellar announced the potential reopening of the borders and on Friday local officials released the recommended health protocols.

“Let’s be the exception to these upticks," said Doctor Victor Trevino.

COVID cases continue to rise in the gateway city but the rate of new cases has slowed down, which is a contributing factor to officials pushing to reopen the borders to non-essential travel.

Another factor is the upcoming paisano season.

“My recommendation to the mayor and the county judge is that the community can coexist with the virus, but it does need some of the state medical staff with the upcoming bridge opening, potential bar openings and paisano holiday travel to Mexico in the middle of influenza season."

Paisanos and local travelers going to and from Mexico significantly impact the local economy.

If the borders were to remain closed to shoppers or those visiting family, businesses would hurt even more than they already are.

But Laredo officials expect the bridges to reopen October 21st. They have released some recommended protocols for us and our sister city.

“Number one, we are recommending individuals that are not feeling well or experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, chills, shortness of breath, lost of taste or smell, sore throat or congestion, even nausea or vomiting or diarrhea, to stay home and consult a doctor before crossing into Laredo, Texas.”

Other recommendations include:

- Getting tested for COVID prior to crossing

- Reinforcing face coverings and social distancing at the pedestrian bridges

- Providing questionnaires

- Redirecting northbound pedestrian traffic through disinfecting misters.

“This is all contingent on us following our protocols," said Mayor Pete Saenz. "I can’t overly emphasize how connected it is. We want our business to open and flourish but we have to help by following all preventive guidelines.”

These recommended protocols apply to all travelers, including the holiday paisano caravans.

Mexico’s SRE, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs posted on twitter Friday evening saying that after reviewing the developments regarding the spread of COVID-19 between the U.S. and Mexico, and that several areas have reduced their threat level to orange for over a month, that it might not be possible to resume non-essential travel across the border.

The city issued a response to that message.

They mayor says the statement is just a recommendation.

They are waiting on word from the U.S. government and that they are still hoping for the bridges to re-open.

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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