Mexico is one of the top vacation destinations in North America. Warm weather, sandy beaches, and all-inclusive resorts—what’s not to love? Between January and August of 2021, 6.4 million U.S. citizens arrived in Mexico by air, a 112.2% increase from the same period in 2020. And with spring break around the corner, Americans are once again gearing up for a trip south.
If you’ve booked your Mexican vacation, here’s everything you need to know COVID-wise before you visit the country.
Requirements to enter Mexico
Despite high case numbers, Mexico has maintained some of the most lenient border restrictions in the world during the pandemic. To enter the country, you’re not required to be vaccinated, show proof of a negative PCR test, or quarantine upon arrival.
The only requirement is that you fill out a health screening questionnaire at the airport that asks about any potential exposure to COVID. If you’re showing symptoms of the virus, you may be asked to complete a test. If the test comes back positive, it’s possible you could undergo a mandatory quarantine period at your accommodations. Make sure you purchase travel insurance before your trip so you don’t get stuck paying for your quarantine bill.
Traveling around Mexico
There are no restrictions around traveling between Mexican states, but some destinations may have different restrictions than others. The country operates on a four-tier light system, with red signifying maximum restrictions, orange limiting work and public space capacity to 30%, yellow allowing all work and public gatherings to take place, and green meaning there are no restrictions.
As of February 25, all Mexican states were either yellow or green. Make sure to check the status of your destination here before visiting.
Returning to the U.S.
Since December 6, all air travelers aged 2 and over entering the U.S. must provide proof of a negative COVID test taken within one calendar day of your flight’s departure. This is regardless of vaccination status.
If you’ve had COVID in the last 90 days and can provide written proof from a medical professional, you don’t need to provide a negative test.
COVID numbers in Mexico
Since March 2020, Mexico has reported 5.46 million COVID cases and 317,000 related deaths. The country has administered approximately 179.8 million doses of vaccine, yet Omicron cases still saw a significant spike in January and February.
While Mexico is a prime vacation destination, it should be noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently shifted the country’s travel advisory rating from a Level 3 (high risk of COVID) to a Level 4 (very high risk of COVID).