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US and Mexico plan to close border to 'non-essential travel'

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The United States and Mexico are working on a plan to close their border to non-essential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, the State Department said Thursday.

[WASHINGTON] The United States and Mexico are working on a plan to close their border to non-essential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, the State Department said Thursday.

The move comes as similar measures are expected to come into force along the northern border with Canada by Saturday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mexico's Foreign Secretary Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubon spoke on "coordinating a plan to restrict non-essential travel across our shared border in response to the Covid-19 pandemic," State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus said.

"The two leaders discussed the importance of creating a uniform North American strategy to reduce public health risks to our communities and more effectively address rising challenges jointly."

Mr Pompeo tweeted that he had been working closely with Mr Ebrard "on travel restrictions that balance protecting our citizens from further transmission of COVID19".

"Together, we can reduce public health risks and prioritise essential cross-border commerce and trade."

In a tweet, Mr Ebrard said he would reveal more details of the closure on Friday.

The measure follows similar US moves to bar visitors from most of Europe, China and other parts of the world as its number of coronavirus cases surges.

AFP