Mexicali shoppers got accustomed to purchasing items in stores located on the other side of the border, which has prevented long wait times in the ports of entry, said Entrepreneurial Coordinating Council President Octavio Sandoval.

The business leader told reporters consumption habits modified during the pandemic due to the crossing restrictions and shoppers found out items supplied in Mexico.

After an 18-month hiatus vaccinated Mexican citizens were allowed to re-enter the US Monday. Although previous to the reopening many expected longer wait lines, CBP reports say the increase was slight.

According to Sandoval before the pandemic crossing to Calexico was for Mexicali residents a routine that is no longer so.

“Not anymore,” Sandoval added. “Now people stay here.”

Finding items in Mexicali refrained residents to avoid waiting for hours at the ports of entry and under risk of being denied from entering the US, Sandoval said.

The business leader indicated that owners adapted to their customers’ needs and offered items to supply the demand.

However, Sandoval admitted that shoppers will gradually begin crossing the border once again.

Professor Hugo Méndez told La Voz newspaper that border crossings did not immediately increase as the reopening took place Monday — a working day that is not payday.

“It is congruent with the behavioral pattern of any border resident,” Méndez, a university researcher said. “Long lines occur during the weekends.”

The professor expects long wait lines will increase in the next months, especially by Thanksgiving and before Christmas.

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