If you’re planning to travel to Mexico, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mexico is open to travelers. There is no need to provide a negative PCR test or quarantine on arrival, though most resorts ask guests to complete health questionnaires. The land border between Mexico and the United States is closed for nonessential travel through at least May 21. However, air travel is allowed.
American travelers should remember they will need a negative Covid-19 test result taken 72 hours or less before travel to return to the US. The US Embassy says results for PCR and antigen tests are reliably available within 72 hours in Mexico.
What’s on offer
Incredible food, sensational beaches, buzzing towns and historical remains. While the beach resorts around Cancun attract the bulk of visitors, those who want more than a fly and flop go for Mexico City’s cultural heft, the coastline of Baja California and traditional towns such as Oaxaca.
Who can go
Mexico has some of the loosest border restrictions, currently, with anyone allowed to travel by air for business or leisure.
The US State Department still advises against it because of Covid-19. The State Department is currently advising against travel to 80% of countries, recently updating its advisories to align with CDC guidance.
What are the restrictions?
Travelers to the country must complete a health declaration form and scan the QR code it generates on arrival. There is no need to take a test before departure or undertake any form of quarantine. Those concerned they may have symptoms should ask for the Sanidad Internacional health organization.
The land border with the United States remains shut to all but essential travel. People trying to enter through the southern border with Guatemala and Belize may also be denied entry for nonessential travel.
What’s the Covid situation?
Mexico had logged more than 2.3 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 218,000 deaths as of May 6 (although some believe the actual numbers are higher). President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has come under fire for taking a laissez-faire approach to the virus. Restrictions have not been far reaching and life has gone on as normal for many, which critics say has led to high death and infection rates.
As of May 6, Mexico had administered more than 19 million doses of vaccine, or about 15 per 100 people.
What can visitors expect?
Mexico has a four-tier traffic light system of restrictions, with red signifying maximum restrictions, orange limiting capacity in public spaces and at work to 30%, yellow allowing for all work to resume and public gatherings to take place, and green meaning there are no restrictions in place. See a color-coded map here.
As of May 6, most states were categorized as yellow, with some orange and green states. No states were listed as red.
Quintana Roo, where popular tourist destinations Cancun and Playa del Carmen are located, was listed as orange. So was Baja California Sur, home to Cabo San Lucas. Mexico City was listed as orange on May 6.
Visitors are likely to find the situation different depending on where in the country they travel, with local restrictions varying.
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Find out how Mexico is trying to balance its health needs vs. an economy heavily dependent on tourism by clicking here.