Seaside Resort Town Continues To Enjoy A Restriction-Free Period
Cancun and the rest of the state of Quintana Roo are moving into the fourth week of the green zone on Mexico’s epidemiological traffic light system. The announcement means that hotels and restaurants will continue to function with no operational capacities.
Quintana Roo governor, Carlos Joaquin, made the announcement on Thursday evening that the state, both the north and south, will be remaining in the green zone. For the first time in several months, the governor did not wear a mask, which is a statement within itself.
For the last two months, his message has been extremely clear to the locals and tourists: Cancun and Quintana Roo are moving forward no matter what happens. The economic recovery of the region has been the main focal point in the bulk of his speeches over the past few weeks and it’s hard to imagine a decision being made that would see the state regress into yellow or orange once more.
COVID rates are extremely low in the region and vaccination numbers are very high among the local population, in particular the workers in the service industry. This is pivotal for the region, after the issues faced by the industry at the start of the year. An extremely successful winter season left a wave of the Omicron strain in its wake, infecting a massive amount of servers bartenders, and other service industry staff.
But now, as COVID finally appears to be in its last throws, Mexico and Quintana Roo are almost at 100% once more. Only a couple of states remain in the yellow zone, which is tremendously good news for the country.
When a state was deemed yellow, orange, or red on the epidemiological traffic light system, hotels, restaurants, and bars were only able to function under certain operational limits. Hotels were forced to operate with as low as 50% capacity in some cases, while some bears had to fully close unless they were able to sell food.
Staying in the green zone will be extremely important for Quintana Roo going forward. As many rival destinations in the Caribbean loosen their restrictions, the pressure is firmly on Mexico and Cancun, in particular, to hold onto their new market. The pandemic was brutal for the travel industry as a whole, but the seaside resort town was one of the few major winners across the world.
Mexico’s relaxed stance on COVID restrictions allowed a steady stream of tourists desperate to hit the beach while other countries shut up shop for months. This logistical benefit allowed Cancun to catapult itself to the top of the most popular destination on the planet, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Dubai and London. Whether it can hold onto those new tourists is another problem altogether.
Cancun International Airport has been facing its own problems with overcrowding over the past few weeks as well. For unknown reasons, immigration officers have been short in the airport, leaving arriving tourists stuck in line for as long as four hours during the busy period.
New officers have reportedly been sent to the airport but it is currently unclear how much an effect they are having.
Tourists heading to the region in the coming weeks should anticipate it being busy. Over 3 million visitors are expected over the spring break and Easter period, meaning the beaches in Quintana Roo are likely to be packed.
Travelers should get in touch with their hotels and any trip providers that they are hoping to book in advance. With crowds building, it’s possible that reservations or tour slots might become harder to come by. Avoid disappointment and make contact early.
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