June 8, 2020, was a historic day. It marked the official date of Mexico reopening for tourism. It has been one of the most awaited dates in Mexico. It should not surprise us since Mexico is one of the most visited countries worldwide.

There has been a lot of controversy on the subject of reopening. We have all heard so many things on social and traditional media that we don’t know whether they’re just rumors or not. 

We had heard about the reopening for weeks until it became a reality yesterday. We’re living in critical times, and we have to be cautious. The economy cannot stop indefinitely. That’s for sure.

But what reopened in Mexico? What measures will there be? Is it safe to visit yet? Let’s answer these and more questions you might have about the subject. Keep on reading for more info.

 

Did All of Mexico Reopen?

Cancun hotel zone.
Cancun was the first Mexican city to reopen.

The short answer is no. Mexican health authorities decided to end the Sana Distancia (Healthy Distance) campaign on June 1, but that does not mean that all businesses reopened, especially the ones in the tourism industry.

Non-essential businesses have seen delays in their reopening, but that is slowly starting to change. Yesterday, the first city to head in that direction was the all-time favorite Cancun, which includes other famous places like Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum, all of them in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo.

Not all businesses are open, though. Hotels and other businesses in the Cancun area are expected to reopen gradually in the upcoming weeks. It will all depend on how the situation progresses and the instructions they receive from local authorities.

There is a video from The Grand at Moon Palace that went viral yesterday showing the first couple of tourists visiting Cancun after the lockdown. They even had mariachi! You can watch it below.

How Things Will Work in Cancun

For starters, the only area allowed to partially restart its tourism activities was Cancun and Riviera Maya. They were authorized to work at only 30% of their capacity. This applies to businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and shops. Bars, nightclubs, and casinos will have to wait.

More than 4,000 companies in Cancun underwent training in the subject and were certified by international health authorities. Infrared thermometers, sanitizing mats, hand sanitizer, more cleaning supplies, and more frequent cleaning and disinfection of common areas are among the newly implemented measures to prevent contagion among guests.

Public beach access is prohibited and is only limited to hotel guests under strict restrictions. Occupancy will be limited and social distancing will be enforced.

 

What About the Rest of Mexico?

According to a survey by the consulting firm Deloitte, 60% of Mexican tourists are planning to travel in Mexico at least once in the upcoming months. About 20% answered they would wait until the first quarter of 2021.

Experts expect domestic tourism to resume in July. International travel to and out of Mexico will take longer. They believe Mexicans will start traveling abroad in September, while international tourists will start visiting Mexico no sooner than November.

The Mexican government established a scale with 4 colors (green, yellow, orange, and red) to determine when it is safe to move to the next phase. Most of Mexico is still in red, which is the most critical level. Only Quintana Roo is in orange, and that’s mainly the reason it was allowed to reopen.

Mexico COVID-19 scale
Courtesy: Mexico official government website.

The Secretary of Tourism held a virtual conference with governors from 20 states a couple of days ago, and the reactivation of tourism was on the agenda as expected. There is still concern about reopening, but at the same time, there is pressure from different groups of society.

Five states recently announced that they would start promoting the tourist attractions in their respective states. Those states are Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Tabasco, Sinaloa, and Campeche.

The only thing we can be certain of is tourism won’t resume at the same time throughout the country. Each state will have to move forward at its own pace depending on its color on the COVID scale.

 

The Mexico – U.S. Border

Mexico - United States border
Land travel for non-essential purposes is not allowed.

This border has been closed to non-essential travel since March 20. Travel by land is restricted to medical reasons, work, school and emergency response, and commercial trade.

The current restrictions are set to expire on June 22. However, there are reasons to believe the ban could be further extended. The original ban has already been extended twice.

Businesses and Texas government officials have been pressuring the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to reopen the borders, but we cannot be too optimistic about it.

Land travel will still have to wait. 

 

Isn’t It Too Soon?

This has been up for debate for weeks. On the one side, some people argue tourism should resume immediately since it’s one of the biggest industries in the country. On the other hand, other people argue health should be placed first.

Many tourists decided to reschedule their trips for later this year, while others decided to wait until the next year.

Don’t forget to constantly monitor updates from WHO, CDC, or your local government if you’re planning to travel. If you don’t feel comfortable traveling even if it is allowed again, then don’t do it. However, if you feel you’ve had enough and it’s considered safe by health authorities, then go for it. It’s your call.

 

Conclusion

What the media and many people had been talking about finally became true. Mexico is slowly trying to get to the new normal. The first city to reopen was Cancun, but we’re confident the rest will follow suit albeit at different dates.

The pandemic has not disappeared. We will have to learn to live with it at least for some time. These are uncertain times, but we have to move forward. 

We will monitor the situation in Cancun and let you know how it goes. We will also let you know of any major updates as the situation changes over the following weeks.

I hope you found this useful. As always, feel free to leave your questions and comments below. See you soon! 

Mexico Reopening for Tourism

6 Replies to “Mexico Reopening for Tourism in 2020”

  1. It is interesting how things and destinations are slowly reopening.

    I guess the Cancun micro-economy was really relying on the reopening and if they can keep that separate from the rest of Mexico that is at least some safety measures.  Different countries and regions/cities within countries all need to transition back to the new normal, a more careful normal when they see fit.

    This is handy to know and a good test case for other destinations.  In Australia most of the interstate borders are still closed and will take a few months to fully open up again.  I’m happy to stay at home for at least a few more months.

    1. Hi, John,

      You made an interesting point there. Cancun relies heavily on tourism. Its economy has been hard hit by the pandemic.

      We will have to monitor the situation. Some people have said they wouldn’t travel until next year even it was deemed safe to travel again.

      We will have to wait. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I love Mexico and it is good to hear that it is opening back up, albeit very slowly. The part that is disappointing is that the beaches will be closed unless you are a guest of a hotel. Otherwise public beaches are closed? Certainly there are a lot of other reasons to go to Mexico, but I now a lot of tourists that go FOR the beaches. I go for the culture, food, music, landscape and old architecture. That’s not to say I’m not a beach person too, I am. But I like all of the other things as well. 

    Do you know across the board if prices will be a bit higher right now due to the limited availability? Or, are people not yet making reservations? I looked up prices online, and most of the things I saw didn’t appear to have updates or adjustments for post-pandema. I’d just like to know if you’ve heard about prices and if everywhere is filling up fast.

    Thanks for the post!

    Darrin

    1. Hi, Darrin,

      That’s the information we were given. Public beaches will be closed in the meantime, but authorities will be constantly monitoring the situation. We’re somewhat optimistic about their reopening. As you mentioned, they’re sought after by tourists from all over the world.

      Answering your question, right now you can get good deals. However, we have to keep in mind the objective right now is to attract tourism. Once we go back to the new normal, it’s likely that everything will go up. Since airlines, hotels, and other businesses will have to manage to comply with occupancy levels established by the government, it’s likely they will increase their prices to make up for the losses. It’s not the same thing to operate at 90% than at just 30%. 

      We will have to wait and see. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Good information. Thank you.

    I am a retired American and have lived in Baja California Sur for many years.

    Question: Do you have any specific information about when the peninsula will get around to reopening?

    1. Hi, Jim,

      They were expecting to gradually reopen after June 22, which is the current expiration date of the travel ban. However, it’s likely they will extend it further, so it looks like travel won’t resume this month. We will have to wait until July and see what happens.

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