Can Americans travel to Mexico during the pandemic?

can americans travel to mexico
Photo via Robert Stinnett/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
  • Many countries aren’t allowing American tourists
  • Tourists are still managing to visit many of Mexico’s popular destinations
  • Travelers can visit the country but should do so with the utmost caution

Restrictions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic have kept many citizens around the world from traveling internationally. Somehow, despite these restrictions, some Americans are posting photos and videos of their vacations at nearly vacant resorts and travel destinations across the U.S. southern border. So, can Americans travel to Mexico during the pandemic? 

The U.S. Embassy currently advises against traveling to Mexico. Inbound border crossings are limited to “essential travel.” Essential travelers include citizens of the U.S., students of U.S. schools, people seeking medical care within American borders, and diplomats, to name a few. The CDC even issued a “Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Mexico due to COVID-19.”

Some countries have begun welcoming visitors back within their borders, but travel from the U.S., in particular, is limited (and when those countries do, like Ireland, it makes their citizens nervous). As of Jan. 22, the U.S. had about 24.6 million coronavirus infections and more than 410,000 deaths, while Mexico had suffered more than 1.7 million cases and 146,000 deaths.

For this reason, many countries are restricting travel from the U.S. until its rising infection numbers slow, and the situation compelled CNN to write, “Pandemic travel restrictions have made Americans prisoners of their country.”

On Jan. 21, President Joe Biden signed an executive order stating that anybody who travels into the U.S. must have a negative COVID test 72 hours in advance

Despite this, many American travelers are managing to reach tropical destinations for their ill-advised 2020 trips. Mexico has restricted land travel across its border, but flights are still welcomed into many of its more popular tourist destinations. Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta, to name a few, are all accepting travelers. While some destinations require a mandatory 14-day quarantine or a negative COVID-19 test, none of these locations are pushing for these restrictions.

And people are certainly interested in flying to Cancun and other Mexican hot spots.

Meanwhile, land border crossings between the two countries will be closed until at least Feb. 21.

Ultimately, it comes down to individual choice about whether it’s safe for Americans to travel to Mexico. There are plenty of avenues through which tourists can visit Mexican cities, but U.S. health agencies strongly advise against it. If you’re willing to take the risk, however, Mexico will welcome you. The same, however, cannot be said for Canada.

Read more coronavirus travel news:

Sources: U.S. Embassy, U.S. State Department, Afar, USA Today, Johns Hopkins

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