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Mexico proposes extending non-essential travel restrictions with U.S.


MEXICO CITY – Mexico has proposed to the United States that restrictions on non-essential travel at their shared border be extended for another month as authorities continue to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

The measures would be in place until just before midnight on Jan. 21 under the proposed extension, the ministry said on Twitter.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also announced Friday its land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Jan. 21 amid a rising number of U.S. coronavirus cases.

The decision means it will be up to the administration of President-elect Joe Biden to determine when it will drop the restrictions, first imposed in March to control the spread of the virus. Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said on Twitter the latest one-month extension was to “continue to prevent the spread of COVID.”

Mexico has seen a total of 1,217,126 test-confirmed coronavirus cases and 112,326 confirmed deaths, although official estimates of deaths are closer to 150,000.

Mexico’s coronavirus spokesman said Thursday the country’s median age of death from COVID-19 was a shockingly young 55, as compared to an average of 75 in many European countries.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell said that nonetheless, Mexico’s future coronavirus vaccination program would target the oldest Mexicans first.

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