The Mexican government added a series of health checkpoints at the border to reduce the risk of a coronavirus outbreak from U.S. visitors.
The Mexican border city of Nogales has set up sanitizing tunnels to disinfect people crossing over the region’s border with the United States.
Visitors coming from Arizona must exit their vehicles and step into an inflatable tunnel that sprays them with a cleansing solution. The added health precautions come as Gov. Doug Ducey began to allow businesses to reopen with no plan in place to enforce social distancing guidelines.
To be admitted into Mexico, visitors must twirl under the tunnel as they are sprayed with the solution from head to toe. Temperature checks are also required, and anyone wishing to enter the country must disclose any recent illnesses to border officials.
Mexico’s undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell said during a press conference last week that sanitizing tunnels have been designed to operate “under controlled conditions” and remarked that they could have an “undesirable” effect if they are not used correctly.
There are no health checks required before obtaining entry into the U.S., which has slowly been relaxing social distancing measures despite the recommendation of health experts.
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Mexico has confirmed 50,000 COVID-19 cases and reported roughly 5,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. In contrast, the U.S. is reporting nearly 1.5 million cases of the coronavirus, almost 90,000 of which have ended in death.
The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.