Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico (May 8, 2020)
Event: Mexico COVID-19 Update (May 8, 2020)
The number of confirmed and suspected cases is increasing daily in Mexico. Hospital occupancy rates are also increasing, particularly in Mexico City, Baja California, Mexico State, and Quintana Roo. Mexican health authorities have reiterated calls for people to stay home during this time. The government deployed elements of the Mexican Armed Forces this week to the six states most affected by the virus to protect medical facilities and workers as well as escort shipments of medical supplies.
International commercial flight options currently exist in Mexico. U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights from Mexico to the United States at this time.
On April 16, the Mexican government extended nationwide restrictions on non-essential economic activities in most municipalities until May 30. Essential activities include the provision of medical services and supplies, grocery delivery services, operation of grocery stores, restaurant delivery and carryout services, assurance of public safety, maintenance of fundamental economic functions and government social programs, and work in critical infrastructure. Schools in Mexico are also closed.
States and municipalities may implement additional closings and restrictions on public gatherings, transportation, business operations, and government operations. Several states and municipalities have imposed curfews and movement restrictions on non-essential activities and have required citizens to wear masks when outside their homes.
In some areas, officials may issue fines and/or arrest and detain individuals found to be in violation of stay at home orders. Please see additional information on these restrictions and links to state COVID-19 websites in the “Local Resources” section on our website. This information is not comprehensive and is subject to change without notice. Please confirm directly with local government and other trusted sources for more information on closures and restrictions in different Mexican states and municipalities.
Passengers and aircrew members arriving at and departing from Mexican airports may be subject to health screenings, including temperature checks. Those exhibiting symptoms may be subject to additional health screenings and/or asked to quarantine voluntarily. Travelers entering Mexico by land from the United States may be denied admission if the purpose of their visit is considered non-essential. We recommend that travelers carry evidence of the essential nature of their visit and evidence of their resident status in Mexico, if applicable. Travelers entering Mexico via land may be subject to temperature checks and additional health screening. Travelers may experience significant delays and face the possibility of being returned to the United States or asked to quarantine in Mexico. At some U.S. ports of entry, operating hours have changed; please review CBP’s Port of Entry wait times web page for additional information.
On April 3, Mexican Tourism and Health officials instructed hotels to cancel new and existing reservations and close for non-essential business. All accommodation services, including hotels, hostels, online platforms, and travel agencies, will cease receiving reservations and will reschedule all reservations. Guests who require accommodation due to essential business activities are permitted to stay in hotels with a maximum occupancy of 15 percent and may be asked to provide an employer letter certifying the nature of their business. Other non-resident foreign citizens currently in hotel accommodations have been requested to return home immediately. Individuals showing respiratory symptoms will be referred to health authorities. As a reminder, the U.S. government does not pay for lodging or other expenses incurred due to travel disruptions abroad.
The Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19 on March 19.
Actions to Take:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. To modify your enrollment and subscription to alerts, you must log in to STEP.
- Please watch Ambassador Christopher Landau’s March 31 Virtual Town Hall on the Embassy’s Facebook page to learn about other recommendations for U.S. citizens in Mexico.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Mexico.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States. Check Port of Entry wait times at the U.S. border and visit Customs and Border Protection’s latest updates.
- Learn about the latest status of consular operations at the Embassy, Consulates, and Consular Agencies.
- Call the Mexican Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 information hotline at 800 0044 800 for local information while in Mexico. English-speaking operators are often, but not always, available. Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.
- Refer to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19MX app that provides Spanish-language information about COVID-19 and local health care resources. It includes contact information for health care providers, an interactive diagnostic tool that analyzes reported symptoms and advises whether or not to seek medical care, the location of the nearest health care facility, the latest news related to COVID-19, and advice about how to prevent the spread of the disease. The app is available via the Mexican iOS and Android stores.
- For Emergency Assistance for U.S. citizens in Mexico, call (55) 8526 2561 from Mexico or 1-844-528-6611 from the United States.
- State Department – Consular Affairs: 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Mexico on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.