At a rally, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria joined National City Mayor Alejandra Sudillo Solis, Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Tedina and County Administrator Nora Vargas in calling on the federal government to reduce travel restrictions between Mexico and the United States.
The COVID-19 related travel restrictions have been in effect since March 2020 and have had a devastating effect on the business economy of the South Bay, depending on the number of visitors from Mexico. Restrictions allow only essential travel.
Our friends in the federal government, we hope that the two federal governments can reopen the borders as soon as possible in cooperation. “This is very important to our economic recovery,” Gloria said.
The group held a press conference this afternoon after touring a vaccination center at the entrance to the pedestrian harbor in San Yitzhak, where thousands of Mexicans are being vaccinated.
“Everyone in Tijuana and Baja del Norte is being vaccinated, which is good news, so we have to open these borders now. We have to keep it open now,” Tedina said.
The economic impact has been devastating to our society. Our residents wait patiently, weather the storm, and follow the lead, Vargas said.
The San Jose Citroen Chamber of Commerce said 197 companies have gone out of business since the travel restrictions went into effect.
The region generally makes an average of $895 million annually. Chamber’s managing director Jason Wells says last year’s revenue fell to $250 million, down 72%.
“It just caught our attention. Feeling tired and frustrated might be the first two words that come to mind,” Wells said.
Olivia Campos has been a debtor to Caroline Shoes for 12 years in San Oyster Metro PLD in the middle of the local business district. He says his business has seen a 50% drop in revenue since the travel restrictions came into effect.
“Honesty is very sad and stressful. We worry every day how long we can keep business open. Our work is very bad because the Mexicans did not cross the border,” Campos said.
Campos said she has had to cut back her hours and that she and her husband work seven days a week. Sometimes they close prematurely due to the lack of some customers.
“I think security is always important, but if people are vaccinated, I think they should be able to cross the border because we can really take off our masks,” Campos said.
Business owners are frustrated that thousands of people south of the border are being vaccinated and that border controls are in place.
“We’re really talking about recovery, not just in the San Ezetro, Baja area, we’re talking about the nation as a whole. We want the opportunity to bring products, customers, and a good quality of life to all of our small businesses,” Sodillo. Souls said.
“If more than 80% of us are now vaccinated in San Diego, we are protected. So we really believe and we pray that we wish they would go away without excuse,” Wells said.
Gloria said she has reached out to the Biden administration and lawmakers in an effort to focus on the issue. He asked the federal government for some indicative or metric criteria to speed up reopening.
“On both sides of the border, tell us what level of vaccination rate we should have. Tell us what conditions we need. If we had that information, it would be credible to many of the small businesses we talk to. I hope they don’t now. Give us some steps.” that can be done.”