The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning against all travel to Mexico.
The CDC issued a level 4 advisory, warning that there is a “very high level of Covid-19 in Mexico.”
“Travelers should avoid all travel to Mexico. Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19,” the health protection agency said.
Mexico’s confirmed case tally is currently just over 1 million while the official death toll is 102,739. Both totals are widely considered to be significant undercounts due to the low testing rate.
The CDC also warned that people who choose to travel and become infected while abroad may be denied reentry to the United States.
“If you are exposed to someone with Covid-19 during travel, you might be quarantined and not permitted to return to the United States until 14 days after your last known exposure,” its advisory said.
The CDC’s warning came just five days before Thanksgiving and as case numbers in the United States reach record levels.
It was perhaps too late to dissuade many Americans from taking a short break in warmer weather south of the border.
An analysis by the insurance company Allianz published last week found that Cancún, Quintana Roo, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur and Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, are, in that order, the top three international destinations for U.S. Thanksgiving tourists.
The risk of coronavirus infection in Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur is currently yellow light “medium,” according to the federal government’s stoplight system, while it is orange light “high” in Jalisco.
There is undoubtedly a risk of coronavirus infection in Cancún, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta – all three destinations have recorded thousands of confirmed cases – for United States tourists but the risk that Americans will bring the virus with them would appear to be greater given the recent explosion in case numbers in the U.S.
Furthermore, Mexico doesn’t require travelers to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test in order to enter the country and there is no quarantine requirement.
The CDC, however, said in its advisory that people who must travel should get tested one to three days before departure. It also warned people not to travel if they are waiting for test results, test positive or are sick.
Mexico is in a tricky situation because it already has its own major coronavirus problems – and obviously doesn’t want to import more cases – but at the same time tourism revenue is sorely needed.
Tourism usually contributes to almost 10% of Mexico’s GDP but the sector collapsed earlier this year due to the pandemic and associated restrictions.
A recovery has begun but the ability of hotels, restaurants and other tourism-oriented businesses to recoup their losses is limited due to state-mandated occupancy and capacity restrictions designed to ensure that social distancing is viable and the spread of the virus is controlled.
Mexico News Daily