Countries worldwide are strengthening their entry requirements under soaring Delta variant cases, particularly under unvaccinated people, including Mexico. As the cruise industry starts up more ships and places like Cozumel become increasingly busy with tourists; concerns are growing that unrestricted travel could mean more cases, especially in tourist-heavy areas.
Mexico has never closed down or put any restrictions on travel to the country, yet, tourism ministers in Mexico are now talking about implementing strict entry requirements for travelers.
Tourism Ministers: Travelers to be Screened for COVID-19
International travel to Mexico has always been reasonably straightforward, even during the pandemic. Mexico is one of the few countries to never closed its air borders and neither required incoming tourists and travelers to undergo any quarantine upon arrival.
But that lack of control seems to be coming to an end now Delta variant cases are soaring worldwide, including in Mexico— sparking fear of new lockdowns and more blows to the tourism industry. The cruise industry, in particular, will be looking on with interest. Mexico features some of the most popular cruise ports globally, a new closure here would be devastating.
Reason enough for Mexico’s association of tourism ministers to request the federal government to implement a policy requiring incoming tourists to present a vaccination certificate and a negative PCR-RT test result. It will be a requirement that cruise lines will happily comply with as most already require a vaccine mandate and negative test results from their guests.
The move will also increase capabilities for Mexican authorities to trace infections, according to Oaxaca Tourism Minister Juan Carlos Rivera Castellanos according to La Jornada, “This will be a security system that helps to have traceability, so that from the beginning to the end of your trip you can be fully tracked,”
The tourism minister explained that if tests at the time of entry into the country were negative, but during your stay you develop the disease, authorities could form a map to know exactly who someone was with and thus attend to them immediately.
What is the Impact For The Cruise Industry?
If approved by the federal government, the move from Mexico will be a low-impact one for the cruise industry. More and more cruise lines have moved in the last weeks to require all guests to be fully vaccinated and present a negative antigen test.
Only those with medical conditions and under twelve years of age are allowed to board the ships with a negative series of tests. This happened after both the Bahamas and the US Virgin Islands implemented a vaccine mandate for entry.
While cruise ships have been sailing to places like Cozumel in increasing numbers lately, and the first ship has returned to Cabo San Lucas, Puerta Vallarta, and Mazatlan, there is likely no rule change to come for cruise ship passengers booked on these cruises.
If Mexico does join the group of countries that mandate a vaccine for entry, it will be the most prominent tourist destination to do so until now.
Also Read: IDEAL Things to Do in Cozumel, Mexico
The plan will need approval from the federal government before it can be implemented, while uncertainty also exists which vaccines would be acceptable for entry. Some countries are only allowing unrestricted entry to travelers vaccinated with approved vaccines. For example, The European Union only approved Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
In the coming days or weeks, we will know how Mexico will handle the growing number of cases inside its borders and if it decides to implement these strict new entry requirements.