Travel restrictions at borders to be extended

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - On March 20th, President Donald Trump came to an agreement with Mexico and Canada to close the borders to all non-essential travel to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Originally set to expire this week, it's instead been pushed back.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the travel restriction- which only allows essential travel across the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico- will be extended.

In a statement, acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolfe said, "non-essential travel will not be permitted until this administration is convinced that doing so is safe and secure."

The travel restriction only allows trade and essential travel through land ports of entry, essential meaning medical purposes, emergencies, education, work and business.

The restriction does not allow travel for tourism.

Wolfe says the U.S. has been in contact with the Canadian and Mexican counterparts and they also agree that extending these restrictions is prudent at this time.

In an interview before the extension was announced, the Laredo Chamber of Commerce said local shops and businesses have been hit hard since no tourists have been allowed to cross into the U.S.

"Honestly, given the recommendation from the U.S. ambassador, I don't think we are going to see a complete opening," said Miguel Concha. "I don't expect any major changes because of how things are going right now."

The travel restrictions on both the northern and southern borders have been extended through June 22nd.

Authorities on the local level have resisted President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's call to lift emergency coronavirus measures.