Traffic at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, border crossings and ferry terminals will likely increase beginning next week.
Officials with the Port of Entry announced their expectations of increased traffic and wait times for Nov. 8 when the U.S.-Mexico border is expected to reopen to fully vaccinated non-essential travelers.
More travelers mean more vehicles and more documents for Customs and Border Protection officers to check.
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Moises Castillo, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer in charge of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, said staffing will be ramped up.
“We are reassigning officers from different areas and putting them in our primary and secondary areas to speed up the process. We are expecting heavy travel on that day. Actually, for the next few weeks," Castillo said.
Castillo told NBC 7 that staffing is near levels prior to the pandemic.
For those who rely on the border, the announcement is welcomed news. Others may dread the possibility that those long waits will suddenly get much longer.
Currently, wait times hover around an hour to an hour and a half, according to Castillo.
Castillo is asking the public to be patient with CBP officers and to prepare using the CBP One mobile app to fill out necessary paperwork prior to arriving at the border crossing.
As the current process, officers will randomly choose travelers to show proof of vaccination. All are required to have it when they cross the border.
A CBP spokesperson told NBC 7 that a picture on a mobile device, of your vaccine proof, is accepted. Also, officers are trained to recognize fraudulent vaccine documents.
As for the federal vaccine mandate among CBP officers, it’s unclear if it will have any effect on staffing at the border.
In January 2022, essential travelers will also be required to be vaccinated.