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News Article

Mexico’s Airports, Borders Remain Open

By Alicia Arizpe | Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:53

Unlike many of its peers in Latin America, Mexico has decided to keep its borders open as it handles the COVID-19 outbreak. However, visits to the country have fallen way down as travelers increasingly choose to stay home.

To halt the spread of COVID-19, many countries have closed their borders. The EU closed them for 30 days and Canada has informed it would implement similar measures. In Latin America, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay are just some of the countries that have partially or completely closed their borders, leaving many travelers stranded abroad with few options to return home. For instance, in El Salvador citizens are being forced to quarantine for 30 days before being allowed back into the country, while foreigners in now-closed Peru claim to be trapped with no information of how to go back home.

Mexico has taken a completely different approach. While the country has now asked it citizens to remain home and has closed bars, movie theaters and malls, the government has shown no indication of closing borders to contain the pandemic. Mexico has restricted non-essential travel across its northern land border, but no similar move has been implemented to limit air travel of any kind, informed Javier Jiménez Espriú, Minister of Communications and Transport. To this date, airports are still receiving foreign flights and tourists although demand has fallen sharply.

Miguel Torruco, Mexico’s Minister of Tourism, informed that sales of flights to Mexico fell by 24.3 percent between March 23-29. While airports continue receiving passengers and cargo, their capabilities are underused. Mexico’s major aviation hub, AICM, which just a few months ago was struggling with oversaturation, has now seen a 50 percent reduction of flights as national and international airlines cancel them due to a significant reduction in demand.

Alicia Arizpe Alicia Arizpe Senior Writer