Cross-border travelers in Ambos Nogales will soon have four additional hours per day to use the Mariposa Port of Entry.
“To further reduce wait time for Ambos Nogales, Mariposa passenger vehicle crossing will return to pre-pandemic hours of operation of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2021,” Michael Humphries, port director in Nogales for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, announced in a tweet on Thursday.
A CBP spokesperson subsequently confirmed that the port’s pedestrian lanes will also return to the pre-pandemic schedule on Sept. 1.
Beginning on April 6, 2020, CBP reduced the port’s hours for vehicle and pedestrian crossing to 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily, following the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. government’s ban on non-essential travel at the country’s land border with Mexico.
CBP said at the time that it had reduced hours at Mariposa at the request of Mexico’s SAT tax agency, which administers many of the operations on the Mexican side of the U.S. ports of entry.
At the same time, CBP closed the pedestrian-only Morley Avenue border crossing after SAT stopped its operations on the Mexican side. It has yet to re-open.
Those changes put extra pressure on the downtown Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry, which processes pedestrian and vehicle travelers 24 hours a day.
Even as the travel restrictions have remained in place, the numbers of vehicle passengers and pedestrians crossing the border in Nogales have grown, though they are still far short of pre-pandemic levels. And with schools in Arizona resuming in-person classes this month, traffic at the port has picked up again, especially in the mornings, leading to long north-bound lines at the DeConcini port.