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Free coronavirus testing site opens on U.S.-Mexico border

San Diego, US: A coronavirus testing site has been set up on the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, offering free virus tests to travelers crossing into California from Mexico.

The testing site, located at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, which is the world's busiest, offers free tests with no appointments needed to travelers crossing by foot from the Mexican border city of Tijuana. "This is open to everyone, we don't ask for immigration status. Right now there are restrictions on the border in terms of who is able to cross; those that are coming in for essential reasons or those that are providing essential services. So anyone who is coming across is able to come and anyone that lives in the community can come and get their test," said Barbara Jimenez, from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.
"We get about 20,000 people that are crossing the border walking and so this is an opportunity for those coming for essential reasons and our essential workers, they can quickly stop by and get their test on their way to work or to do their activities," she added.

A ban on non-essential border travel between Mexico and the U.S. has been in place since March in an attempt by both governments to limit coronavirus infections, yet cross-border traffic has been busy. Mexico's northern border region is home to a large population of U.S. permanent residents and U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, who are typically free to cross back and forth.

"I think (border testing) is a very good program, especially for those who are responsible and want to keep their families safe," said Sarina Coronado, who lives in Tijuana but crosses the border everyday to get to her job waiting tables at a restaurant in San Diego.
"It's great because it makes you feel safe, it makes everything feel safer, when you come and you go, so I'm all for it," said 50-year-old Gabriel Rodriguez, a San Diego resident who had just returned from visiting his parents who live in Tijuana.The San Ysidro coronavirus testing site will be open 6:30 am to 12pm (local) Monday through Friday.

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