QUITO, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) — Ecuador and Colombia on Thursday announced they were coordinating the gradual reopening of their shared border to reactivate their economies and tourism amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The president of Ecuador Lenin Moreno and his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque made the joint announcement at the end of the ninth Binational Ecuador-Colombia Cabinet and Presidential Meeting, which was held virtually to analyze issues of common interest.

“We are in a process of gradual, progressive reopening and thinking about the well-being of our peoples at the border points,” with a focus on social distancing measures, Duque said.

Ecuador and Colombia closed their shared border in March as a way to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Moreno said he was confident things would soon return to normal in the border region, and announced that a “protocol for safe ground transportation” between the two countries would soon be in place.

“This will make it possible to reactivate the border economy, but always controlling the spread of the virus,” Moreno said. Enditem

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