Since the novel coronavirus COVID-19 was announced a global pandemic on March 11th, 2020, by the World Health Organization, Puerto Vallarta has been exceedingly proactive in protecting its citizens and visitors and helping prevent the spread of the virus.
Organizations throughout Puerto Vallarta have cooperated and the majority of citizens have been fantastic and compliant in practicing social distancing and staying at home. The authorities are applying and exercising preventative measures when necessary to ensure everyone’s safety. Medical attention is being expertly applied to anyone who has symptoms, and so far, there are only 4 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Puerto Vallarta, and 126 in the State of Jalisco.
Puerto Vallarta has invested in rigorous preventative measures, such as installing medical screening filters such as temperature controls in both the Puerto Vallarta airport and bus stations. These indicate if someone has an unusually high temperature, which is one of the prime symptoms of COVID-19.
Another preventative measure taken by the Governor of Jalisco was to suspend a number of flights arriving and departing from Puerto Vallarta airport. Suspending flights coming from destinations with a high rate of positive Coronavirus cases, both international and national, will help slow the spread and control the virus. Prior to suspending flights, the airport was also undertaking medical checks on arriving tourists to ensure that they aren’t presenting any symptoms of a coronavirus infection. This would have helped prevent the spread of the virus in the early days.
It’s estimated and hoped that flights will return to normal in May 2020 but that very much depends on how the novel coronavirus develops further and if progress is made in containing it, as has recently been the case in Wuhan, China. The lockdown in Wuhan, China has recently been lifted, which gives us hope that things will go back to normal in the United States and the rest of the world again soon, too.
As a preventative measure and due to the low occupancy of hotels (only reaching an occupancy of 5%) the Mexican Hotel Association reports the temporary closure of most of the hotels during the month of April. During this period of closure, hotels such as Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa are using this time to take care of the resort and undertake maintenance, ensuring that everything is perfect for when the doors reopen to guests.
A confirmed reopen date hasn’t been provided by the authorities as it depends on each company and the health contingency situation, but most hotels expect to open again at the end of spring/early summertime. The top priority of the hotels, however, is the health of Puerto Vallarta’s citizens and visitors, therefore the reopening date of hotels may extend beyond this. It all depends on the longevity of the coronavirus.
Bars and Restaurants
Restaurants are temporarily closed to the public for preventative reasons until it’s confirmed by the Governor of Jalisco that they can reopen. Most restaurants, however, are working under a take-out and delivery only method, which they are currently entitled to do so by law. Restaurants still working have been asked to implement and exercise intensive cleaning and disinfecting methods.
Bars, casinos, party venues, and night clubs are also temporarily closed and will be until further notice. It is expected that all venues will reopen at the same time as the hotels, during late spring/early summertime.
Activities and Excursions
Following the order given from the Ministry of Health, issued on Tuesday, March 31st, beaches, rivers, and spas in Bahia de Banderas are closed to the general public. This is to prevent large crowds from gathering or groups of people coming into close proximity with one another, all with the aim of implementing social distancing. Most excursion companies, therefore, have canceled activities. On a positive note, this period of closure has given the beaches and rivers an opportunity to rejuvenate and repair themselves, making them more beautiful than before.
If you had planned to travel to Puerto Vallarta and have already booked an excursion in April or May and want to cancel your trip and activities, we advise you to contact the agency to rearrange the date and discuss options for the future. Some companies offer a No Cancellation Fees Policy but you’ll have to research into your chosen company as to whether this is an option for you.
All cruise ships that had planned to dock in Puerto Vallarta have been canceled. This decision was implemented to protect citizens and to prevent tourists from traveling from countries with a high rate of positive coronavirus cases entering the city.
Some cruise lines are expecting to resume activities by the end of April 2020. These companies are American Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Emerald Waterways, Celestyal Cruises, and Disney. Although these companies are hoping to reopen within a short amount of time, it all depends on the contingency of the virus and whether it’s in the best interests of the citizens whether they will dock in Puerto Vallarta.
Other cruise lines such as Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess Cruises Holland America, are being more precautious and extending their opening to May 11, 2020.
Due to the coronavirus, Spring Break will, unfortunately, be relatively quiet this year, as all non-essential activities have been canceled in order to avoid further spread of the virus. Bars, nightclubs, and casinos have participated and closed their doors. Many spring break activities have been canceled, as well as events that were to be attended by more than 100 people.
The Spring Break activities that have been postponed have been moved to the summertime, likely to take place around June or July 2020. If you would like to book your stay at Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta and have questions about making future reservations, call us toll free at 1 877 845 3791 and talk to a Garza Blanca travel specialist. They can help.