The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging Americans to avoid all travel to Mexico. This warning comes as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country and after the CDC assigned Mexico its highest-level advisory. The CDC’s written advisory said people may increase their chances of getting and spreading COVID-19 by traveling there.
American travel to Mexico has increased over the past few months since airlines have added flights. Mexico is currently the top international destination for American travelers. Specifically, Cancun, San Jose del Cabo and Puerto Vallarta are the most popular
U.S. tourist destinations—and all three destinations are experiencing high rates of COVID-19 cases.
COVID-19 in Mexico
Over the past two weeks, Mexico surpassed 100,000 deaths due to COVID-19 and reported more than 1 million cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Furthermore, Mexico has the fourth-highest death toll in the world. COVID-19 testing isn’t widespread in Mexico, so health officials have said the numbers of cases and deaths could be higher than reported.
Unlike other warm-weather destinations like Hawaii and the Caribbean, Mexico does not require travelers to present negative COVID-19 test results to enter the country. Additionally, much of the country has reopened to visitors.
For those who must travel to Mexico, the CDC provided the following guidelines and precautions:
- Before traveling, get a viral test one to three days before the Do not travel if you’re still waiting for test results, test positive or are sick. Follow all destination entry requirements and provide requested health information.
- During travel, wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet away from other people, and wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Always watch for signs of illness.
- Before traveling back, get a viral test one to three days before your scheduled departure. Follow all destination and airline requirements.
- After traveling, get a viral test three to five days after travel, and stay home for seven days. If you’re not getting tested for the coronavirus, stay home for 14 days and continue to monitor your health.
For those who are considering travel, there are additional restrictions to keep in mind. People who get sick with COVID-19 or test positive while abroad might not be permitted to return to the United States until isolation has ended. Additionally, those who are exposed to COVID-19 during travel might be quarantined and not permitted to return to the United States until 14 days after the last exposure.
Travel may increase a person’s chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Health experts are still warning against all nonessential travel—especially during the holidays—as they worry a surge in travel could create a surge in COVID-19 cases. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.