SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Baja California’s Secretary of Health Alonso Pérez Rico is telling reporters the United States and Mexico are negotiating an end to border crossing restrictions that have been in place for almost 15 months.
But, according to Pérez Rico, the U.S. is insisting on a few requirements before lifting the restrictions.
For one, travelers would have to prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. And, people who received the Chinese or Russian versions of the vaccine will be prohibited from entering the United States.
Those vaccines, including the Cansino and Sinovac brands, have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“The United States does not endorse any Chinese or Russian vaccines,” Pérez Rico said. “They already told us in order to lift restrictions we have to reach a 70 percent vaccination rate.”
According to a New York Times report published this week, fewer than 20% of Mexico’s residents have been fully vaccinated.
“That’s why they have been sending us vaccines,” Pérez Rico said. “All countries, first world countries, that have opened their borders are asking for the same evidence of vaccinations.”
In the state of Baja California, about 91,000 education workers and prison personnel have gotten Chinese vaccines, along with thousands of seniors.
It’s not clear whether these people would have to get U.S.-approved vaccines in the future in order to gain access to the U.S.
These same restrictions would apply to visitors arriving in the United States by plane.
Meanwhile, Mexico is reportedly not asking for any proof of vaccinations for non-essential travelers heading south of the border.
More than 228,000 people have died in Mexico as a result of COVID-19 according to statistics.
Many believe the number is actually higher because a lot of victims have died at home and never got tested.
Some experts place the virus’ death toll in Mexico at well over 350,000.