US and Mexico to curb border travel to control coronavirus

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mexico and the U.S. announced Friday that they would prohibit all “non-essential” travel across their shared border as part of efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Both countries and Canada also agreed to immediately turn back anyone trying to illegally cross a border, with U.S. officials saying that the unchecked entry of people from around the world poses a potential risk because of the rapidly spreading virus.

“The actions we are taking together with our North American partners will save countless lives," President Donald Trump said in announcing the measures.

Trump administration officials and Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the travel restrictions would be similar to those put in place earlier this week along the U.S. and Canadian border: People could still cross for medical reasons or for school but not for tourism or recreation.

“Everyone else is not expected to have any difficulties," he said. "We're not talking about closing it.”

The ban, which takes effect at midnight Friday, does not include commercial traffic and remains in place as long as needed, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

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