The Borders are Back in Business!


Marley Gandee, Reporter

After a long 20 months of visitors not being able to come into the United States, finally we have opened up again…as long as travelers have proof of vaccination, and a negative test. There will be exemptions for those under 18 or in countries with low vaccination status. This includes Europe, currently a main hub of the Covid-19 virus, due to a recent spike in cases. Europe has predicted that half a million of their people could die during this winter due to this mass outbreak. Germany has recorded its highest 7-Day incident rate during this pandemic, as well as a report that cases are hovering at record levels in Russia, Ukraine and Greece. France has also seen a spike in Covid-19 cases, so it is clear that Europe is currently in a massive outbreak. With all these new travelers coming in, it puts the US at risk of a major outbreak. So why would we open our borders during this massive increase in cases? The answer is, our economy needs some help, and more people traveling in and out will help our country massively.

Another bonus to the current border closure, is families being able to see each other. Tons of families haven’t been able to see each other since the beginning of the pandemic. Natalia Vitorini  a student in Miami says, “I was waiting for the border to open so my mom can come see my baby.” Many people were unable to see their family or significant others because 0f the pandemic, so the opening of the borders is going to impact a lot of people’s lives, for the best. For the younger ones, they are meeting family members for the first time. Many people are even excited to just be on a plane for the first time. Covid has been hard on everyone, no doubt, but this is so emotionally healing to many people.

Many cities in the U.S. were destroyed by the lack of tourism, especially those that are close to the border. Their economy relied strongly on tourism, since they don’t have many people in their town, they are dependent on payments for hotels, food, gas and other utilities. When these are not in use, citizens of those towns are also at a lack of jobs. In San Ysirdo retail sales fell by 75%, meaning that nearly 300 businesses had to close. “Sales dropped in half at David’s Western Wear shop in Nogales, Arizona, which manufactures boots popular among Mexicans.” Border towns rely mainly on the sales from tourists, and those who come across the border to get items they can’t get at home, so these economies suffered greatly during the pandemic.

Even with the borders opening back up, it might not come back as easily as it was shut off. Many people adapted, getting things that they needed in their community, and not relying on purchases from other countries. The visa renewal process is also backed up, so it is going to take a long time for a lot of people to be able to travel across the border. Even opening the borders back up will create backups and problems. The other reason is that many people crossing the border may not want to pay for just a short trip in to get groceries. Citizens of the United States are very fortunate, in Canada, some PCR tests start at 165 dollars, while in Mexico, they start at 125 dollars.

With the borders opening up, this creates several problems, while solving a couple of problems. It’s a step in the direction of our country healing from the pandemic.