Virus Outbreak United States Mexico

Vehicles cross over to Mexico at the Gateway International Bridge, Friday, March 20, 2020, in Brownsville, Texas. President Donald Trump announced Friday the U.S.-Mexico border will be closed to nonessential travel to further help stem the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(The Center Square) – As Americans gear up for the Fourth of July holiday, its neighbor to the south has closed the border to non-essential travel between Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora.

Sonora Gov. Claudia Pavlovich announced in a release that the closure, taking effect Saturday, is meant to help stem COVID-19's spread in a Mexican state that’s already experiencing high infection levels, according to to the Tucson Star.

“We are all going to be on alert at this time to prevent them from coming, whether they are Mexicans living in the U.S., Americans or those who want to come to spend the weekend and put a greater burden on us regarding COVID,” Pavlovich said. 

Rocky Point, a resort area in Puerto Peñasco, and San Carlos to the south are two popular Independence Day destinations on the Gulf of California for Arizonans.

Arizona enters the holiday weekend leading the nation in troublesome metrics regarding the spread of COVID-19 and seeing thousands of new cases daily. 

Sonoran hospitals have seen an increased number of coronavirus patients, including in Guaymas, where San Carlos is located. 

Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday a new executive order that would again close bars, gyms, movie theaters, and the popular Arizona pastime of tubing for one month. 

President Donald Trump’s administration imposed similar travel restrictions for Mexicans in March. Those restrictions are in place until later in July. 

Staff Reporter

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois and Arizona government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Central Illinois and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.