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US borders open for leisure travel, reuniting Central Texas families

Border Checkpoints
Posted at 6:07 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 22:23:53-05

WACO, TX — Vaccinated travelers from Mexico and Canada can now enter the United States.

After US officials sealed the borders 19 months ago to stop the COVID-19 spread, people are already lining up in droves at entry points. Some economists expect a financial boom, but for some families, it's more than that.

For Hector Sabido, an influential member of the Latino community in Central Texas, the sounds of the border opening for vaccinated travelers is music to his ears.

"Not only have we have heard it, we've experienced it in our families as well," Sabido said. "So it's very tragic to hear of stories where you miss the communication with your immediate family, the ones who are close to you."

It cut off trade and economic prosperity, but for Sabido it meant separating families.

"You hear stories that where families will go home for the first time in two years," Sabido said.

Monday, Nov. 8, vaccinated travelers can once again head through northern and southern border checkpoints. In addition to being vaccinated, travelers must also have a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before travel. For children two to 18, only a negative COVID-19 test is required.

On top of family reunification, economists said a potential economic boost is in sight. According to the International Trade Administration, international visitors spent more than 43 billion dollars in U.S stores in 2019.

Travel by plane is also ramping up. Airlines said this change couldn't have come at a better time.

"You know both countries have huge amounts of foreign direct investment going both ways," Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways said.