Surge In COVID Cases Sees Mexican Risk Level Raised By The American Health Organization
The CDC has raised its advisory level on Cancun and the rest of Mexico after the region saw a significant increase in Covid cases. The country and region are now registered as “Level 3: High Levels of Covid”.
In what will be frustrating news for the tourist sector in Quintana Roo, the recent rise in infection rate is once again bringing attention to the decisions it makes as an industry. Just weeks before, the last of the state’s Covid restrictions had been removed, including the lingering mandate to wear masks in public places.
Now, however, as many as four hundred cases are being registered every few hours and hospitalizations are slowly beginning to tick up. It was also just announced that the mask mandate will be returning to the state for at least a few weeks to help stem the spread of the disease. The figures being reported are the highest the region has seen in over three months.
Cancun and the rest of Quintana Roo are always at significant risk of another outbreak, owing to the regular movement of international visitors through the region. Mexico’s relaxed stance during the pandemic helped make it a massively popular destination but also bred loyalty from many unvaccinated travelers who will continue to travel to the area. Immunization rates are high among the general population in Quintana Roo, particularly among those who work in the tourist sector.
Some businesses and establishments never dropped the mask requirement. The Cancun International Airport remained firm in its decision to mandate that anyone inside the building must wear a mask at all times. Unfortunately, the airport has reported high levels of disregard among tourists entering and leaving the country. As the tenth busiest airport in the world, millions are expected to pass through its doors each year, and thousands a week.
With so many not respecting the rules, the concern is validated. With the US dropping its pre-departure testing requirement, tourists can take less care before their vacations. With the prospect of being stuck in Cancun a real possibility, many avoided traveling or practiced social distancing before their trip to avoid any potential problems. Now, with no incentive for care, the possibility for even higher transmission rates is gravely increased.
It should be noted that the travel advisory from the CDC is only listed as advice. It does not prevent tourists from leaving the US to travel to Mexico. The system was overhauled recently in response to the rest of the world loosening its regulations, but even before that point, it was still only advice.
According to the site, travelers should take the following recommendations:
- “Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to Mexico.
- If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, avoid travel to Mexico.
- Even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, you may still be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19.
- Anyone 2 years or older should properly wear a well-fitting mask in indoor public spaces.
- If you have a weakened immune system or are at increased risk for severe disease, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, talk with your clinician about your risk, and consider delaying travel to Mexico.
- Follow all requirements and recommendations in Mexico.”
Travelers should take extra care and follow the rules being enforced around Quintana Roo. Although the traffic light system has been removed across the state, there is no suggestion that a similar system couldn’t return if cases continue to rise.
Cancun has to position itself as a responsible destination, regardless of many Americans’ view that Mexico never cared about the pandemic. Anyone traveling in Mexico during the pandemic would have seen extremely high rates of mask usage and social distancing with the local population, suggesting strong regard for the rules and a respect for the infection.
Those traveling to Cancun in the near future should ensure they practice social distancing and wear masks when applicable to avoid exacerbating the problem.
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