Though Mexico has remained a reliable international escape for travelers craving a beach vacation, due to the relative lack of entry requirements and overall COVID-19 restrictions for much of the pandemic — a wave of new infections has sparked new requirements in some areas of the country. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently moved Mexico to its Level-4 list of countries it advises Americans to avoid traveling due to the spread of COVID-19. 

Read more: I planned a trip to a country the CDC labeled 'Do Not Travel.' Should I cancel?

Meanwhile, several popular tourist destinations have reacted by enacting new mitigation measures to slow the spread. 

It is still a bit too early to tell how that might impact the epic pool and beach parties Spring Break is known for, but already some tourist destinations in Mexico are reducing capacity and requiring proof of vaccination to access the bustling nightlife in bars, clubs and casinos.  

Traveling to the Canary or Balearic islands in Spain? Here’s what to expect

If you're planning a trip for Spring Break, here's how to monitor the current COVID-19 infection rate and restrictions at your destination. 

Mexico's entry requirements 

There is no requirement to take a COVID-19 test before entering Mexico. However, in order to enter, travelers need to fill out a health declaration form before their departure. This will generate a QR code that is needed to enter and fly throughout the country.

Mexico's COVID-19 stoplight rating system

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently lists Mexico as Level 4 status, meaning the spread of COVID-19 infections in the country is extremely high. Those traveling to Mexico are urged to be fully vaccinated before departing.

Mexico currently rates each of its states according to a stoplight system that considers how the number of new cases, hospital occupancy and the percent of positive cases are trending. It then assigns a stoplight color with green indicating the lowest level of concern to red indicating a high level of spread.

Most places in the country will require a mask if you are indoors or on public transportation however, further mitigation requirements vary depending on the state's stoplight color. 

In addition, local governments may add their own requirements. Currently, there are no places in Mexico that have reached the red level of concern. 

A tourist in a blue t-shirt stands in front of towering cacti.
Mexico's regions have different restrictions for COVID-19 © Bisual Studio / Stocksy United

Jalisco: Yellow Status

As of January 25, the state of Jalisco, which includes the popular tourist destination of Puerto Vallarta, is in yellow status.  The state now requires proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test to be admitted into:

  • Casinos
  • Bars
  • Clubs
  • Concerts

In addition, if you are visiting Puerto Vallarta, you may want to make reservations for tours and restaurants due to capacity restrictions. Restaurants are operating at 90% capacity. Tours are operating at 85% capacity. Bars, clubs and casinos are operating at 75% capacity. 

Public beaches in Puerto Vallarta are open but groups are urged to stay 6 feet apart from each other and to limit their group size to no more than 8 people –preferably from the same family or group of travelers.

Events are limited to 150 people indoors and 300 people outdoors. Conventions and exhibitions that have space of more than 10,000 square meters have a capacity limit of 3,000 people. 

Read more: When to go to Puerto Vallarta

Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo: Orange Status

As of January 25, Baja California Sur, which includes tourist destinations like Cabo San Lucas and La Paz, and Quintana Roo, which is home to places like Cancún and Cozumel, are currently in orange status. 

According to the US State Department, under orange status, “hotels, restaurants, barber shops, open-air parks, and gyms are limited to 50 percent capacity.”

While markets and supermarkets are allowed to operate at 75% capacity, othr businesses like shopping malls, churches, cinemas, theaters, museums, and cultural events are limited to 25% capacity.

For more information on COVID-19 and travel, check out Lonely Planet's Health Hub.

You may also like:
The best places to visit in Mexico for culture, cuisine and cenotes
Best time to visit Mexico
Mexico's family-friendly destinations to explore with kids

This article was first published January 2022 and updated February 2022

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