Visitors Are Still Flooding In Despite The Increased Restrictions
Tourists are still flooding into Cancun and the greater Quintana Roo region despite the recent implementation of the orange level COVID restrictions. The allure of sun and sea is proving too enticing for many to worry.
The Cancun International Airport registered well over 500 flights on Saturday, just a day before the new restrictions began. The region has been under a yellow designation for the past two weeks, and despite initial concerns from some tourists, the bulk of the visitor seemed undeterred.
The trend is appearing to continue, although it is unclear exactly how much of an effect the rules will have on those entering the country. With the maximum capacity in most hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions significantly reduced, it would be reasonable for a visitor to be hesitant to venture to Cancun. The counter-argument in this scenario is that fewer crowds could mean a more pleasant visit for those who do.
The Orange designation hasn’t stopped some festivals happening in the region. Hootiefest: The Big Splash, is still set to go ahead this week. The event will see thousands of attendees staying at the Moon Palace Resort and enjoy four days of music performances on top of the usual resort activities.
The decision to move forward is an interesting one, considering music festivals have been classified as super-spreader events across the world since the beginning of the pandemic. But organizers are pushing forward, most likely hoping that the relative isolation of the attendees may prevent any major spread. Everyone attending the event must stay at the resort, so there is at least some semblance of containment. But statistically, it’s very unlikely that there will not be some spread at the event.
Beaches were crowded over the weekend which spurred the idea that many were getting one last burst of sun before escaping the new restrictions. But the number of flights still arriving tell a different story, and as always a few quotes from worried travelers do not speak louder than the statistics. A quick glance at any social media still sees hundreds of new posts from the major hotspots of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.
Luckily, the Omicron strain is matching the trajectory that many other countries have experienced. It has an incredibly high infection rate, but hospital numbers are comparatively low in respect to the Delta variant and other strains. Hospitals in the area did see some huge spikes and many were reaching breaking point, but this appears to have settled at least for the moment.
Restaurants and hotels were seeing as much as 25% of their functional staff being unavailable to work after testing positive. Many of the service industry staff have borne the brunt of the current infection wave after coming into constant contact with millions of travelers passing through for a week or two at a time and leaving again.
It is hard to say what the trajectory of this wave will be in the coming weeks. Many countries are reporting that they believe the peak has passed and things are stabilizing, but many of those places are not seeing the numbers of tourists flooding through their city in the same manner as Cancun and Quintana Roo as a whole.
It is hoped that the orange designation, along with the recently announced road closures and establishment inspections, will help ease the infection rate and return the area to some semblance of normality. There’s no suggestion the flights are stopping anytime soon. Spain confirmed they would be continuing flights to the country despite the rates, and the US is adding more routes to Mexico on a monthly basis.
Any travelers to the region should keep abreast of any travel restrictions, and get in touch with their accommodation to avoid any disappointment.
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