US Ambassador reaches out to American citizens in a live stream Q&A
Over 2400 people tuned into the livestream, including many from Facebook watch parties in Lakeside. The primary message to American tourists was go home now
Patrick O’Heffernan (Ajijic).- US Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau went on Facebook Live on March 31, at 3:30 p.m. to discuss the most recent Department of State travel advice for U.S. citizens in light of COVID-19 and to answer questions from US citizens currently in Mexico. He was joined by the Counsel General and other staff.
Ambassador Landau pointed out that the Embassy and the 9 US consulates in Mexico were operating with reduced staff and they were also in lock-down so some functions had been suspended and others would take longer than usual. The primary message from the Ambassador was for Americans who did not live permanently in Mexico or did not intend to stay indefinitely to go home, now.
“If you are a tourist in Mexico, it is time to go home,” he said, “the State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for the whole world. Please return home unless you intend to stay in Mexico.” He continued, “If you are a resident in Mexico, think long and hard about your personal situation,” he advised, “ where your support network is located There is no right or wrong answer.”
Amassadsor Landau on LIvestream, March 31.
He also told participants that Americans returning home should have no trouble getting through the border either by land or by air, unless they had symptoms, in which case they may be examined or quarantined. He could not predict whether or not Mexican authorities would allow Americans to enter Mexico. He noted that Medicare does not cover Americans in Mexico and that some insurance companies have added riders to their policies eliminating care or paid travel to the US for treatment in the case of Coronavirus. He urged Americans in Mexico to review their insurance policies and to enroll in the State Department’s STEP program at https://step.state.gov to receive information updates.
The live stream, which was interrupted to fix audio problems, was recorded and can be accessed at the Embassy’s Facebook Page at https://bit.ly/2Uy5Hc3. The embassy will respond to emailed questions at ACSMexicoCity@state.gov as time and staff allow.
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