Updated 23 July 2021
After a long period of hiatus due to the raging pandemic, the travel industry is gearing up for a return to small normalcy with borders reopening, easing of quarantine requirements, and the creation of travel bubbles. Travellers around the world are now keen to find out if, when and where they can travel abroad. Mexico is among the countries opening its borders throughout the pandemic for travellers from around the world, but will it always remain so? Can anyone travel to Mexico right now?
Can I travel to Mexico right now?
Yes, you can. For all intents and purposes, Mexico is open for travellers from around the globe.
Mexico does not currently impose any air travel restrictions from any country, although the airlines’ operations are far from being full-fledged. Tourists from anywhere in the world can visit Mexico now without going into mandatory quarantine or having to take any COVID diagnostic test. However, land border crossing with the US, Guatemala and Belize remains closed until further notice. However, air travel is allowed.
Travellers only need to fill out a health declaration form by following this link- Vuela Seguro and scan the QR code it generates on arrival. There are no testing requirements prior to departure and on-arrival quarantine measures are being implemented. Travellers exhibiting coronavirus symptoms are encouraged to acquire the assistance of the Sanidad Internacional health organization.
Mexico currently adopts a four-tier spotlight system of restrictions. Places flagged as red signifies maximum restrictions, while orange is observing a 30 percent limited capacity of public and workspaces. Yellow means all work and public gatherings are allowed to take place while green renders a place restriction-free.
As of 23 July, no state is in the red zone.
- Quintana Roo, where popular tourist destinations Cancun and Playa del Carmen are located, lies in the orange zone.
- Campeche, and Veracruz have now progressed to the yellow zone.
- Amongst the safest places to visit are the places in the green zone, such as Baja California, Oaxaca, and Chiapas.
Travel to and from the USA
The United States has temporarily restricted land border crossings from Canada and Mexico to “essential travel” until August 21. This means that Americans may still travel by air to Mexico and does not prevent U.S. citizens from returning home.
However, as per the CDC guidelines, Americans returning from any international destinations are required to present a negative COVID test prior to their departure to the US. As such, numerous hotels and resorts in Mexico have opted to accommodate US citizens by providing on-site testing services for those looking to return to the US.
An essential traveller is:
- Citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States.
- Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States).
- Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions.
- Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada or Mexico in furtherance of such work).
- Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies).
- Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada and Mexico).
- Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel.
- Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.
Non-essential travel for purposes such as sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events in the U.S. – Mexico land border is restricted. This means only lawful citizens of Mexico, people traveling for work, people travelling for medical purposes, students enrolled at universities, government, and diplomatic travels, military officials, etc. can cross the border via land.
But according to the U.S. Embassy, that restriction “does not apply to air, rail, or sea travel” (with the exception of commuter rail and ferries). So American tourists are allowed to go to Mexico as long as they don’t plan to drive or walk across the border.
While land borders remain closed for non-essential travels, tourists have been flying to Mexico by air; some are even arriving in private jets for a much-awaited holiday.
Do I need to quarantine after I reach Mexico?
Travellers are allowed to enter the country without any quarantine regulations. When you enter the country, the officials posted at the airport terminals will monitor your health, along with regular temperature screening. Cancun International Airport even has thermographic cameras that detect fevers in travellers.
Hotels and resorts may require you to fill out some health-related questionnaires and if you show symptoms, you may be asked to quarantine or return to your hometown. A completed health declaration form must be presented to the immigration upon arrival in Mexico.
In preparation for worst-case scenarios, a few hotels have also been keeping designated rooms for quarantine purposes, should the guests get infected and need to be isolated.
Are there flights to Mexico?
Even with the pandemic, Mexico had never really stopped its international flights. So, you can check on Wego if you have flights running to Mexico from your country.
In recent times, Mexico’s popular tourist destinations Perto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, have experienced increased domestic flight operations. Domestic carriers Interjet, Viva Aerobus, Aeromexico, TAR, Magbicharters, among others, and international airlines Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, and America Airlines are flying to Puerto Vallarta International Airport.
Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
As of July 23, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintained Mexico’s advisory rating at level 3 – “high” risk fro level 4- “very high” risk. The CDC advises travelers to be fully vaccinated before traveling to Mexico.
Total cases in Mexico stand at 2,709,739 as of 23 July 2021, while the death toll stands at 237,626, rendering Mexico one of the countries with the highest COVID-related mortality rate. 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.
Despite the current situation, the country is also enacting a few health and safety measures to provide visitors peace of mind. For instance, Mexico’s secretary of tourism has released a hygiene protocol for the hospitality industry. Social distancing and COVID-19 prevention norms are in place in many hotels, including giving additional masks and hand sanitizers to all arriving guests. As mentioned above, Cancun airport is also implementing health monitoring rules and devices to screen travellers.