Travel to Mexico during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

Amanda Bullock / March 20,2022

Editor’s note: Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus, especially if you’re not fully vaccinated. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on March 18.

If you’re planning to travel to Mexico, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently moved Mexico’s travel advisory rating down to Level 3 (“high” risk for Covid) from Level 4 (“very high” risk).

The basics

Mexico remains open to travelers. There is no need to provide a negative PCR test or quarantine on arrival, though most resorts ask guests to fill out health questionnaires. There are health screenings at airports.

Since December 6, all American air travelers 2 and older returning to the US need a negative Covid-19 test taken within one day their departing flight, regardless of vaccination status. It’s part of a general tightening of US travel rules because of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The US Embassy says results for PCR and antigen tests are reliably available within 24 hours in Mexico.

What’s on offer

You’ll find incredible food, sensational beaches, charming towns and historical remains. While the beach resorts around Cancun attract the bulk of visitors, those who want more than a fly and flop go for Mexico City’s cultural heft, the coastline of Baja California and traditional towns such as Oaxaca.

Who can go

Mexico has had some of the world’s loosest border restrictions with anyone allowed to travel by air for business or leisure.

The land border between Mexico and the United States has been reopened to nonessential travel since November 8, 2021.

What are the restrictions?

Since March 2022, travelers to the country no longer need to fill out a health declaration form.

There is no need to take a test before departure or undertake any form of quarantine. Those concerned they may have symptoms should ask for the Sanidad Internacional health organization.

Some Mexican states or cities might have tighter restrictions. Tourists may want to inquire with their hotels or resorts about any local directives before committing to plans.

What’s the Covid situation?

Mexico has had almost 5.62 million cases of Covid-19 and around 321,800 deaths as of March 18 (although some believe the actual numbers are higher). 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.

As of March 18, Mexico had administered roughly 187.6 million doses of vaccine, or 144 doses per 100 people. For comparison, the United States has administered about 168 doses per 100 people and Canada has given 215 doses per 100 people.

What can visitors expect?

Mexico has a four-tier traffic light system of restrictions, with red signifying maximum restrictions, orange limiting capacity in public spaces and at work to 30%, yellow allowing for all work to resume and public gatherings to take place, and green meaning there are no restrictions in place. See a color-coded map here.

As of March 18, all states were green except one, Querétaro in central Mexico. That means all the following popular destinations are green:

Baja California, home to border crossover city Tijuana. — Baja California Sur, home to resort city Cabo San Lucas. — Guanajuato, where expat fave San Miguel de Allende is located. — Jalisco, home to Puerto Vallarta. — Mexico City, the bustling, cosmopolitan capital. — Quintana Roo, where Cancun and Playa del Carmen are located.

Many hotels and lodging groups, such as Mexico Grand Hotels and Krystal Hotels to name just two, offer on-site Covid-19 testing for your return. Check with your hotel about on-site testing before you travel.

Visitors are likely to find situations differ depending on where in the country they travel, with local restrictions varying. See the Local Res section of the US Embassy website for specific information.

 

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