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Pompeo eyes return of nonessential travel between Arizona, Mexico

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said while there is no hard date when nonessential travel between Arizona and Mexico will resume during the coronavirus pandemic, he is hopeful restrictions will ease in the coming weeks.

“We’re working with the Mexican government to identify what that would look like,” Pompeo said Thursday on KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

He also said, “We see it in Arizona, we see it in Texas – we need to get this nonessential travel going again.”

The United States reached agreement with Canada and Mexico in March to curtail nonessential travel across borders as a measure to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The measures were recently extended through at least Oct. 21.

Pompeo said any changes to the restrictions would be made with “keeping people safe” in mind “but at the same time, we can’t lock down … and close our borders off in such a way that we destroy lots of American jobs, and frankly the loss of health and lives that comes with a destroyed economy.”

The nation’s top foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump added that, “We’ve got to get the vaccine in place. That will give people the confidence to travel again. It’s one thing to permit people to travel; it’s another thing for folks to feel comfortable that they can do so.

“I think we’re getting closer on both fronts.”

On top of rigorous final testing in tens of thousands of people, any COVID-19 vaccines cleared for widespread use will get additional safety evaluation as they’re rolled out, health officials said.

Among plans from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Texting early vaccine recipients to check how they’re feeling, daily for the first week and then weekly out to six weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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