Calexico, CA–U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are announcing changes to hours of operation at the Calexico East port of entry, in response to the COVID-19 virus and decreases in traffic volumes.
The Calexico East passenger border crossing will operate from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. effective April 26.
The change is to the passenger portion of the port of entry. The cargo and commercial facility’s hours is not effected by the change, according to Customs and Border Protection officials.
On April 5, Customs and Border Protection officials announced changes to hours of operation at select ports of entry along the California and Mexico border, in response to decreased traffic volumes because of COVID-19 and restrictions against non-essential travel. On April 20, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada agreed to extend restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for an additional 30 days.
Customs and Border Protection officials have experienced a significant decrease in the volume of northbound traffic arriving at the Calexico East border crossing. The week of March 2 compared to last week, the officials saw a 62% decrease in vehicle traffic and a 93% decrease in pedestrians.
“Previously, CBP scaled staffing based on anticipated workloads,” said CBP Director of Field Operations for San Diego, Pete Flores. “Now with a continued drop in traffic volume, this reduction will allow CBP to continue to provide service to border communities while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 exposure to our workforce and to members of the public.”
Overall, there has been a decrease in northbound traffic at all the land ports of entry on the California border with Mexico. The week of March 2 compared to last week there was an average decrease of 52% in vehicle crossings for a daily average of more than 42,000 vehicles. The facility also experienced an average decrease of 76% in pedestrians crossing, with a daily average of almost 14,000. In addition, last week, 90% to 94% of travelers entering in vehicles and on foot were U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
On March 21, Customs and Border Protection introduced temporary restrictions that limit entry at the U.S. northern and southern land borders to persons engaged in essential travel, including lawful trade, emergency response, and public health purposes. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and certain other travelers are exempt from the restrictions on entry at U.S. land borders. These individuals will receive the same processing, evaluation and potential CDC medical screening that all entrants undergo at U.S. ports of entry.
Cross-border travel for the purpose of purchasing supplies generally is not permissible under the current travel restrictions, unless the traveler seeks to purchase supplies not readily available where they reside in Canada or Mexico. In general, cross-border travel for the purpose of visiting immediate family members generally is not permissible under the new travel restrictions. Limited exceptions may be granted for individuals who serve as caretakers or who are providing transport to a medical appointment.