Mexico has been a popular tourist destination for decades due to its sunny climate, rich culture, and vastly different landscapes. Throughout the entire pandemic, Mexico became even more popular by being one of the most accessible destinations to travelers desperate for a sunny getaway. Recently, Mexico was selected as Travel & Leisure’s 2022 Destination of the Year and the great news is that Mexico is returning to pre-COVID normality in terms of its entry requirements.
Since the pandemic hit, Mexico kept its borders open and the only coronavirus-related requirement to enter the country was to fill out an online health questionnaire “Vuela Seguro” and present the QR code to be scanned upon check-in and again at customs, but as of January 1st, 2022, tourists and residents traveling to Mexico are no longer required to fill out this form.
El Salvador was the first nation to remove all COVID-19 entry restrictions and Mexico is now the second. Leisure and Business travelers to Mexico will be delighted to learn that traveling to Mexico is no different than it was pre-COVID, which signals a hopeful return to normality. The only exception is that now travelers on inbound flights to several countries including the USA, Canada, and the UK, are required to show proof of a negative COVID test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 and some countries like Canada require travelers to show proof of vaccination in order to enter the country as well.
Mexico neither requires proof of a negative COVID test to enter the country nor proof of vaccination. The only requirement that remains in place is for travelers to fill out their tourist visa card. Mexico’s longstanding policy was to automatically grant 180 days (6 months) to foreign tourists, but recently due to some long-stay tourists overstaying the allotted time allowed on their visa, some tourists are now only being granted 15, 30, or 60 days.
The Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said at a press conference that Mexico has no intention of asking tourists or residents to provide proof of vaccination to enter Mexico. That said, certain states have rolled out vaccination mandates for private businesses or public spaces. This new rule has been implemented in Mazatlán, Sinaloa and Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. According to the requirement, people over the age of 18 will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours in order to gain entrance to restaurants, bars, casinos, and clubs. In Baja California, health authorities have not mandated proof of vaccination instead they have left the decision up to the individual bar and club owners.
In any case, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises all travelers to get the vaccine, so we may just have to accept that going anywhere in the future whether it be out to a bar or restaurant in Cancun, Vancouver, or New York will require us to carry our coronavirus passports with us. This may just be part of our new normal, but for sure it is way better than staying at home.
On that note, airports in Mexico are extremely busy and international arrivals are already surpassing 2019 levels. In order to accommodate the new travel requirements, on-site COVID-19 testing is available at many resorts throughout Mexico. For any visitors who test positive, most resorts will offer a discounted rate allowing guests to isolate in their room until they receive a negative test result. While in isolation, room service and access to medical services is available.
Another thing to note is that the CDC has updated their recommendation for the quarantine period from 10 days to 5 days and most airlines have updated their policies accordingly and offer no-fee cancelations up to 2 hours before a flight to accommodate passengers in these ever-changing times. Before booking your flight, make sure that your airline has a no-fee cancelation policy in place and also check with your hotel to see what their policy is should you test positive for coronavirus prior to departure.
With countries such as Mexico and El Salvador returning to ‘pre-COVID normal’, we can be optimistic about travel and while expectations around the globe differ, some are hopeful that the pandemic will be contained within the next 12 months and that life will go back to a near normal, perhaps with some additional health and safety rules in place.
To read more, click here.