Mexico has always been a popular spring break destination because of its stunning beaches, magnificent resorts, and affordable prices. If you’re planning a trip there, here’s what you should know about travel restrictions to Mexico and what to expect once you’re there.
Travel to Mexico advisory
State Department advisory
The United States State Department recently lowered its travel advisory for Mexico. Mexico was on the State Department’s ‘Level 4 – Do Not Travel’ list till quite recently. But it has now been downgraded to ‘Level 3- Reconsider Travel’. Here’s what the State Department updated advisory states:
The CDC has reduced Mexico’s travel alert rating from Level 4 (very high risk for Covid) to Level 3 (high risk). To be classified as Level 3, a country must have between 100 and 500 new daily cases per 100,000 people in the last 28 days. The CDC advises travelers to be up to date with their vaccines before traveling.
Can US citizens travel to Mexico right now?
Mexico is still open to visitors. You won’t need to provide a negative PCR test or quarantine upon arrival. Most resorts, however, ask guests to fill out health questionnaires. Also, you will need to go through health screenings at the airports. If Covid-19 symptoms are detected, you will be tested and may be subjected to a mandatory quarantine.
As before, US citizens do not need a visa to travel to Mexico.
The land border between the US and Mexico was reopened to non-essential traffic on November 8th, 2021, and has remained open since.
What are the current travel restrictions to Mexico?
There aren’t any travel restrictions to Mexico from the US right now. Moreover, visitors entering the country do not need to fill out a health questionnaire since March 2022.
You won’t need to take a test or go through quarantine before traveling to Mexico. However, those who are concerned about their symptoms must contact the Sanidad Internacional.
Certain Mexican states or cities may have stricter regulations. Before making travel plans, you should check with your hotel or resort about any local regulations.
What is the current COVID situation in Mexico?
As of March 14th, Mexico reported about 5.61 million Covid-19 cases and around 321,000 deaths. The government has been criticized for taking a hands-off attitude to the illness. The restrictions have not been severe. Many people have gone about their daily lives as usual, which opponents claim has resulted in a high death and infection rate.
Where can I travel to in Mexico?
Mexico has implemented a four-tier traffic light system of restrictions. Red indicates maximum limits, orange indicates reducing capacity in public areas and at work to 30%, yellow allows all work to restart and public gatherings to take place, and green indicates no restrictions. You should check the map on their website before planning your trip.
Mexico travel warning map
When we checked on March 14th, only Queretaro was yellow. All the other states were green. None of the states were code red, which is good news for travelers. This means there are no travel restrictions states to the most popular locations in Mexico
- Quintana Roo -Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Tulum
- Jalisco – Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta
- Baja California – home to Tijuana (border city) and Guadalupe
- Baja California Sur – home to Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo
- Guanajuato – Celaya, San Miguel de Allende
While COVID-19 restrictions and mask mandates differ by city and state, face masks should be worn on public transport and in indoor public venues such as hotels and restaurants. They must also be worn in outdoor public locations in orange and red states – a widely followed law. The Mexican government also encourages people to continue to observe social distancing.
What to expect when returning to the US from Mexico
Do I need to get a COVID-19 test to fly back to the US?
Yes, you do. All American air travelers aged 2 and older who are returning to the United States must have a negative Covid-19 test within one day of their departure flight, regardless of vaccination status. PCR and antigen test results are readily available within 24 hours in Mexico.
Do I need to get a COVID-19 test to drive back to the US?
There is no need for COVID testing to enter the United States by land or ferry. However, people who show signs/symptoms will be sent to the CDC for further medical evaluation.
Other things to be aware of while in Mexico
The US Embassy in Mexico has advised spring breakers to travel smart. According to the embassy, thousands of Americans visit Mexico during spring break each year. While the vast majority does travel safely, they should consider certain factors when traveling through Mexico:
Crimes, including violent ones, can happen anywhere in Mexico, especially in major tourist areas. Be aware of your situation, avoid regions where illegal activities occur, and leave potentially harmful circumstances as soon as possible.
Mexico prohibits the possession and use of drugs, including medical marijuana. If you are caught, you can be in for a lengthy prison sentence. There have also been reports of travelers becoming very ill and/or dying after consuming synthetic drugs or contaminated prescription medicines in Mexico.
There have been reports of travelers from the United States losing consciousness or being hurt after consuming alcohol that was probably unregulated.
American citizens have been raped and sexually assaulted in several tourist regions. Perpetrators may prey on drunken or solitary victims. They may also use drugs that impair the victim’s physical or mental state.
Strong undercurrents and riptides can cause drowning on some beaches. Some beaches may not have lifeguards, warnings, or evidence of hazardous circumstances.
Disease or accidents may necessitate medical treatment or hospitalization in Mexico. Prices in Mexican private hospitals may be higher than in the US. Several facilities ask for a cash payment before giving treatment or discharging a patient.
Guns and Ammunition
Mexico prohibits all firearms and ammunition, even tiny amounts. Possession can get you severe prison sentences.
Drunk and disorderly behavior, public urinating, and driving with open alcohol containers are all banned in Mexico. You may get arrested if you violate Mexican law.
Violations of the terms of your stay in Mexico might result in hefty penalties and jail.
Way.com note of caution
COVID-19 is still prevalent in several parts of the world, with Omicron BA.2 becoming a variant of concern. Traveling raises your chances of contracting and spreading the virus. This is especially true if you aren’t completely vaccinated and boosted. Taking all precautions while traveling is an absolute must. Also, those planning to travel to Mexico should continue to monitor any changes to COVID restrictions in the US and Mexico.
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