Travel to Mexico during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go


CNN staff

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.

The basics

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 fill out health questionnaires. The land border between Mexico and the United States is closed for nonessential travel through at least July 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.

As of June 25, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintained Mexico’s advisory rating at level 3 — “high” risk. Level 4 is the highest risk. The CDC advises travelers to be fully vaccinated before traveling to Mexico.

What’s on offer

You’ll find incredible food, sensational beaches, quaint 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 world’s loosest border restrictions with anyone allowed to travel by air for business or leisure.

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 has had about 2.49 million cases of Covid-19 and about 232,000 deaths as of June 25 (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 June 18, Mexico had administered almost 42.2 million doses of vaccine, or about 33 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 June 25, most states were categorized as yellow and green. No states were listed as red.

Quintana Roo, where popular tourist destinations Cancun and Playa del Carmen are located, was listed as orange. Baja California Sur, home to Cabo San Lucas, was also listed as orange. Mexico City was listed as yellow, and the state of Oaxaca was yellow.

Visitors are likely to find situations differ depending on where in the country they travel, with local restrictions and curfews varying. See the Local Resources section of the US Embassy website for specific information.

Useful links

Sanidad Internacional

Covid-19 government page

US Embassy in Mexico

Our latest coverage

Find out how Mexico is trying to balance its health needs vs. an economy heavily dependent on tourism by clicking here.

Ever wondered what it was like to move to Mexico in a pandemic? Kim Kessler did. So did this adventurous couple, who booked an Airbnb together for several months despite being virtual strangers.

If you’re not ready yet to take the plunge, you’ll find inspiration with the prettiest towns in the country and an insider’s guide to tequila.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley, Forrest Brown and Marnie Hunter contributed to this report.



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