Sonoyta’s mayor Jose Ramos Arzate issued a statement on Saturday “urging American tourists not to visit Mexico”.
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Local residents organized to block the road with their cars on the Mexican side on Saturday.
A video posted by residents showed several travelers complaining about being allowed to cross because they were Mexican citizens. The route is the quickest route to the resort of Puerto Penasco, also known as Rocky Point.
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Ramos Arzate wrote that people from the United States should only be allowed “for essential activities, and for this reason the checkpoint and inspection point a few meters from the Sonoyta-Lukeville AZ crossing will continue to function. “
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“We agreed on this point to protect the health of our community from an accelerated rate of contagion to COVID-19 in the neighboring state of Arizona,” wrote Ramos Arzate.
“It is our duty as municipal authorities to protect the health of our city.”
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Mexico and the United States previously agreed to limit border crossings to essential activities, but up to this week this had been mainly applied to people entering the United States, not the other way around.
Sonoyta residents demanded health checks from incoming visitors, better health care facilities, and broader testing.
According to sources, tourists, but not local residents, have been allowed to enter Puerto Penasco, where there are many banks and other services.
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Given the high infection and death rates in Mexico, some states are shrinking from reopening businesses. For example, the Mexico City government said on Sunday that more streets in the city’s colonial era downtown would be closed to traffic but open to pedestrians.
The city already allows businesses with even addresses to open one day and odd businesses the next.
But on Sunday, the city proposed a new voluntary measure to reduce the crowd in the downtown area: officials asked people whose last names start with the letters A to L to shop Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Those whose names begin with the letters M to Z would be encouraged to shop on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. No proposal has been made to enforce the rule.
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