Woman thrilled to soon see family, sick relative after 19 months of border closure

Border Report

TIJUANA (Border Report) — It’s been almost 19 months since Paola Paz has seen her family in San Diego. She has been unable to cross the border due to essential travel restrictions.

But with the restrictions set to be lifted at some point next month, Paz hopes it’s in time to see an ill relative at least one more time.

“I really want to see him,” Paz said.

The restrictions were enacted as a way to curtail the spread of COVID-19. They were put in place along the southern border and between Canada and the U.S.

Paola Paz is anxious for essential travel restrictions to be lifted so she can cross the border again and visit her family in San Diego. (Jorge Nieto/Special for Border Report)

Crossing the border to shop or to visit became prohibited.

“Truth is, it has been really complicated because I used to cross the border quite a bit,” Paz said. “I have a lot of family in the United States. When I went it wasn’t for the shopping but to visit them.”

Paz is not the only one who is happy to see the restrictions go away.

Vendors who sell food and items such as hats and blankets are also counting the days when everyone will be able to cross the border, provided they are fully vaccinated.

“We should all see our sales go way up,” said Leslie Montano, who runs a coffee cart along the northbound lanes at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. “With more people in line there will be more paying customers.”

Montano believes everyone will benefit, including fellow salesperson Jesus, who makes a living making juice from oranges and other fruits and vegetables.

“This really benefits all of us,” Jesus said.

No official date has been given for the removal of the restrictions, but everyone Border Report spoke to is looking forward to that date.

“We should obviously reap the benefits,” Montano said.

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