COVID-19 Updates for Baja California
-The U.S.-Mexico temporary land border closure was extended and the land borders will remain closed to non-essential travel at least until August 20, 2020. U.S. Citizens and Canadian Citizens have been allowed to cross back north into the U.S.
-Mexico has instated a national “stoplight” system allowing certain regions to begin reopening. The state of Baja California has a “red” light designation and is still closed to non-essential activities. The state of Baja California Sur has an “orange” light designation and has begun to reopen hotels, restaurants, car rental companies, sportfishing, beaches, parks, and outdoor activities. Hotels and restaurants are limited to a 30 percent capacity. The stoplight designations are being assessed on a weekly basis.
-Some of the California/Baja land borders are now operating on reduced hours. The following are the current hours for border crossings:
San Ysidro: open 24 hours
(PedWest is closed but PedEast remains open 24 hours)
Otay Mesa: open 24 hours
Tecate: 5am-2pm daily
Calexico West: open 24 hours
Calexico East: open 6am-2pm
Andrade: open 6am-2pm
-For up-to-date information about COVID-19 in the state of Baja California (norte) please visit the Baja California COVID-19 page. For up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Baja Sur, please visit the BCS COVID-19 website.
-For Emergency Assistance for U.S. citizens in Mexico, call 55-8526-2561 from Mexico or 1-844-528-6611 from the United States. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico has put together a COVID-19 webpage or you can follow them on Facebook for updates.
-You can find the latest updates on our Road Conditions Page. Call the DBTC office at 800-727-2252 for more information about U.S. travelers crossing the border.
Trusted Traveler (SENTRI) Enrollment Centers Extend Closure
The CBP has announced that the Trusted Traveler Enrollment Centers will be closed until at least September 8, 2020 due to COVID. Every applicant now has 545 days from the date that CBP conditionally approves his or her application to complete the enrollment process. In addition, CBP will extend for up to 18 months the program benefits of members who apply for renewal before their current membership expires. For more information, read the CBP press release.
Delays in Passport Processing
The State Department is taking longer than usual to process passports due to COVID. Expedited processing is temporarily suspended except in the case of life-or-death emergencies. For faster service, you may be able to make an in-person appointment at one of the passport agencies. Visit the U.S. State Department passport processing times page or their COVID-19 response page for more information.
Funding Cut for Green Angels
The Green Angels have suffered a 75% budget cut in funding and will now only be operating on the weekends—Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The national organization has 60 years serving travelers with free road side assistance. There is no charge for Green Angels services, but tips are appreciated.
Masks Required in Los Cabos
The Los Cabos region is currently requiring face masks to be worn in businesses and public spaces. The temporary mandate for required masks will last through until at least August 10, 2020.
Register to Vote
Message from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico about registering to vote:
Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world! Follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:
1. Register to vote: Start by confirming your voter registration with your state. Some states require absentee voters to register annually, so you may need to re-register. Go to FVAP.gov to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more.
2. Request Your Ballot: Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can easily access via FVAP.gov. You can also choose to complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), which we recommend you do each year, or each time you move, in order to ensure you are registered and receive a ballot. The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives), including primaries and special elections, during the calendar year in which it is submitted. FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in every U.S. state and territory. FVAP’s easy online assistant can assist you with completing the FPCA.
Whether you request your ballot through your state’s portal or the FPCA, we encourage you to select the option to receive your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available. This is the fastest way to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline.
3. Receive and Complete Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office, and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. Most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.
4. Return Your Completed, Signed Ballot: Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically. If your state requires you to return paper-voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico using the instructions below.
Returning your FPCA or Ballot through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate: You can return your completed FPCA or signed ballot to the United States via the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
In order to mail election-related materials to the United States, you will need two envelopes. Address the first envelope to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate at the mailing address below. Address the second envelope to your local state election office and enclose your FPCA or ballot inside. The second envelope needs to be postage-paid or have sufficient U.S. postage to be delivered to your local election office from the U.S. sorting facility where it will be mailed. Seal the second envelope, place it inside the first envelope, and mail the package to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It can take up to four weeks for election-related materials to reach their final destination in the United States.
You can download and print a U.S. postage-paid envelope from the FVAP website.
U.S. Consulate General Tijuana
Voting Assistance Officer
Paseo de las Culturas s/n
Mesa de Otay, Delegación Centenario, 22425
Tijuana, Baja California
If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Mexico at +52 (55) 8526 2561 or via the e-mail address listed above.
Remember, your vote counts!
Yahoo Email Addresses
The Discover Baja insurance renewal system has been unable to deliver mail to Yahoo email addresses. If you have a Yahoo email address on file with us, it’s possible that you are not receiving your reminder emails for membership and insurance renewals. If you have another type of email address you could use instead, please let us know by calling the office at 800-727-2252.