COVID-19 Updates for Baja California
-The U.S.-Mexico temporary land border restrictions were extended until at least August 21, 2021. U.S. Citizens and Canadian Citizens have been allowed to cross back north into the U.S. and have had no problems crossing south into Mexico from the U.S.
-Mexico has instated a national “stoplight” system which sets the safety levels for the region and is evaluated on a weekly basis. The state of Baja California (norte) is rated “green” with the exception of Mexicali which is currently rated “yellow.”
The state of Baja California Sur is rated “orange” with Los Cabos at level 4 (with businesses operating at 40% capacity) and La Paz, Comondú, Loreto, and Mulegé at level 5 (with businesses operating at 30% capacity). Specific rules vary from municipality to municipality. We recommend that you call ahead to any business that you plan on visiting to find out about current hours and COVID regulations.
-Some of the California/Baja land borders are 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: 6am-2pm Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm Saturday-Sunday
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.
Mexico Lifts Fishing-Free Zone That Protected Vaquita
The Mexican government has eliminated a fishing-free “zero tolerance” zone that they had enforced in the Upper Sea of Cortez, San Felipe area. The fishing-free zone was implemented in 2017 in order to try to save the last remaining Vaquita porpoises. Fishermen in the area use gillnets to catch the totoaba fish (prized in other parts of the world for their swim bladders) but the nets also trap the endangered vaquita. There are thought to be fewer than a dozen vaquita still in existence.
Interactive Border Mural Highlights Stories of Migration
A new mural on the border wall in Playas de Tijuana tells the tale of 15 individuals who were brought to the U.S. by their parents at a young age. A portrait of each individual is accompanied by a QR code, which links to a website detailing their story. Some of the individuals were deported and some remain in the U.S. under the DACA program. The project seeks to show how difficult deportation can be for those who arrived in the U.S. as children and babies and how they are forced to rebuild their lives in a homeland they don’t know.
New Natural Gas Plant Opens in La Paz
Commercial operations have begun at a natural gas plant at the port of Pichilingue in La Paz. The more affordable and cleaner-burning natural gas will enable customers to significantly reduce emissions and costs by switching from oil-based fuels to natural gas.
There’s a new Baja Atlas available and we’re so excited for you to have this invaluable tool for your future Baja explorations! The Baja California Road & Recreation Atlas is a large-format, full-color atlas that covers the entire peninsula with detailed maps and recreation guides that highlight campgrounds, parks, natural wonders, beaches, historical sites, and more. Published by Benchmark Maps and edited by Baja author and aficionado David Kier, this is a must-have for all Baja travelers. Click here for more information and to order your copy today!