How the Central Valley is impacted by CDC's recommendation to avoid Mexico travel

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- By bus, plane or car, many Central Valley residents typically choose to travel to Mexico for Christmas.

But this year, the CDC and local experts are urging people to cancel their holiday getaways and stay home as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

"We need your cooperation in order to keep our people safe here in California," said Adriana Gonzalez, Head Consul of Fresno.

According to Gonzalez, more people tend to travel to Mexico during the month of December.

She said the preferred method of transportation is by car but this year, people could face major delays and setbacks at the border.

"We have gotten news about many people who cannot cross the border when they're returning to the US and also people from Mexico who want return to Mexico that the authorities sometimes say 'No, you cannot travel, you cannot cross the border,'" she said.

Within the last two weeks, Mexico surpassed 100,000 deaths due to the virus and reported more than 1 million cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Marisela Velasco of Delano was planning to take a road trip to Mexico to spend Christmas with her family.

She decided against flying since she wanted to avoid the crowds. But now she's rethinking her plans altogether.

"We're seeing that there are more infected people and there's a higher possibility that we could get infected, but not just us, we could already be infected without knowing and spread the virus to our family," she said in Spanish.

According to Airlines for America, Mexico was the clear leader for U.S. international air travel last month.

Just last month, Volaris began offering new direct flights between Fresno and Mexico City. Officials at the Fresno-Yosemite Airport say it is too early to tell what travel will look like this month.

At this point, no major airlines flying to Mexico have changed their schedules. Still, they urge travelers to check their flight status before heading to the airport.
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