In the not-too-distant past, the Morley Avenue commercial district was bustling on Saturday afternoons, primarily with shoppers from Mexico. But then the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, resulting in the short-term closure of non-essential businesses, as well as more enduring changes such as the ongoing shutdown of the Morley pedestrian border crossing, and the continuing ban on non-essential travel through the DeConcini and Mariposa ports of entry with Mexico. As a result, many shops on the street have cut back on their hours, or shut down temporarily or permanently.

During the mid-afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 19, the day after the cross-border travel restrictions were extended for a seventh month, an NI photographer walked the two blocks of Morley Avenue from Court Street to the border, documenting the status of the storefronts on the east side of the street. Of the 40 seen – 39 shops and one art gallery – only four were open for business, and one closed within the roughly 30 minutes it took to complete the project.

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