Looking at the map of travel restrictions by country, one can see that Mexico and Colombia are truly unique:

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They're currently the only nations not requiring a COVID test prior to arrival and not restricting visitors from any nation in the world, as long as they have a visa-free passport or Mexican visa. Mexico is especially unique because it never required a COVID test and never restricted travel from any nation, though hotels weren't allowed to rent rooms to tourists until June 2020. How was this approach to border controls justified internally, given the immense pressure to conform to what other countries are doing? Did the Mexican government ever explain their justification for keeping the border open no matter what?

NB: While the Mexico->US border is officially closed, the US-> Mexico border was always open.

  • In the case of Mexico, I'd guess the priority was maintaining the free flow of people for industrial activity. A significant fraction of North American industry, not just things like cars, but things like food processing supplying most US supermarkets, are located within a short distance of the US-Mexico border, with operations often on both sides, and at least some people needing to go back and forth daily or weekly. I had a call with an industrial customer on the Mexico side around May or June 2020, we talked about this. They were focused on staying in business. New York was a long way away.
    – Pete W
    Sep 9, 2021 at 3:21
  • 2
    They surely imposed some restrictions at their border with Guatemala. There is some dispute as what the real goal was though... The Mexican gov't claimed it was Covid, locals said it was another US-mandated drive to reduce border crossings... Sep 9, 2021 at 3:29


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