Health Alert – Mexico COVID-19 Update
COVID-19 cases and hospital occupancy in Mexico continue to decrease after peaking in the first week of January 2021 with one of the lowest levels of transmission recorded in a year. As of April 26, Chihuahua, Mexico City, and Mexico State have reported the highest number of active cases. As of April 26, Chihuahua and Tabasco are the only states reporting hospital occupancy rates above 30 percent for regular COVID-19 beds. On April 26, Mexican health authorities informed that Quintana Roo is the only state where cases continue to increase and reiterated calls for people to follow prevention measures, including leaving home only for essential activities, maintaining social distance, washing hands frequently, and wearing masks (particularly indoors). Schools remain closed in nearly all states, with the exception of Campeche.
Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test (PCR or antigen) taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the United States who have been sick and recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel may provide proof of a positive COVID-19 viral test along with documentation from a licensed health care provider confirming their recovery. Check the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions for additional information. This requirement does not currently apply to travelers entering the United States by land or sea. It applies to U.S. citizens, as well as foreign nationals, regardless of vaccination status.
The Mexican government approved several COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use. Federal health authorities have assured the vaccine will be available to Mexican citizens, as well as temporary and permanent residents. Local policies for vaccine distribution may vary, so we encourage you to consult with your local health care authorities and professionals about how to receive the vaccine. Please review our English language instructions on how to register for the vaccine. At the time of your appointment, you may be asked to provide evidence of identity and residence. Please contact the local entity distributing the vaccine to confirm the documentary requirements prior to your appointment. We encourage U.S. citizens residing in Mexico to follow host country developments and guidelines, in particular the Government of Mexico’s national vaccination plan against COVID-19 (Spanish only).
The national stoplight system allows for a gradual phase-in of economic activities in states and municipalities. The system’s four colors indicate risk level from maximum to minimum (red, orange, yellow, and green). The four metrics to determine the colors are the trend in numbers of new cases, hospital occupancy trends, current hospital occupancy rates, and the percentage of positive cases.
No states are currently designated “red” under the federal stoplight system.
Six states are designated “orange” under the federal system between April 26 and May 9 (Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Hidalgo, Mexico City, Quintana Roo, and Tabasco). Under orange, hotels, restaurants, barbershops, open-air parks, and gyms are limited to 50 percent capacity. Markets and supermarkets will operate at 75 percent capacity. Shopping malls, churches, cinemas, theaters, museums, and cultural events will be limited to 25 percent capacity.
Twenty states are designated “yellow” under the federal stoplight system between April 26 and May 9 (Aguascalientes, Baja California, Colima, Durango, Estado de Mexico, Guerrero, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Yucatan, and Zacatecas). Under yellow, all work activities are permitted. Outdoor public spaces may open on a regular basis, while enclosed public spaces can open with reduced capacity. All activities should be carried out with basic prevention measures. People at higher risk of developing COVID-19 symptoms should continue to take extra precautions.
Six states are designated “green” under the federal stoplight system between April 26 and May 9 (Campeche, Chiapas, Coahuila, Guanajuato, Jalisco, and Veracruz). Under green, all economic and social activities, including school, are permitted while taking appropriate precautions.
Please see information on additional state and local 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 government and other trusted sources for more information on closures and restrictions in different Mexican states and municipalities.
Travelers entering Mexico 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. The United States and Mexico entered a joint initiative on March 21, 2020, restricting non-essential travel along the U.S.-Mexico land border to prevent the spread of COVID-19; this restriction has been extended until May 21, 2021. Non-essential travel includes tourism and recreational travel. These restrictions apply to travel in both directions across the border. Mexican border and local authorities are conducting enforcement actions to discourage non-essential travel in some areas. 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. At some U.S. ports of entry, operating hours have changed; please review CBP’s Port of Entry wait times webpage for additional information. Please see the DHS website or embassy fact sheet for more information.
The Department of State issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for Mexico on April 20, 2021, advising U.S. citizens to not travel to Mexico due to COVID-19, and to exercise increased caution in Mexico due to crime and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk – read the entire Travel Advisory. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or significantly restricted. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Mexico due to COVID-19 on December 2, 2020.
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.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information, including recommendations for travelers.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Mexico.
- For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, review the Mexican Ministry of Health’s vaccine strategy (in Spanish), the CDC’s vaccine webpage, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s webpage.
- 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. The app is available via Mexican iOS and Android stores.
- If you or someone you know is facing or has been a victim of domestic or sexual violence while in Mexico, please call 911 or reach out to a local organization that provides assistance to such victims. U.S. citizens can contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest you or the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 for help around the clock to assist U.S. citizens with emergencies. Additional resources for victims of crime are available on travel.state.gov.
- For Emergency Assistance for U.S. citizens in Mexico, call (55) 8526 2561 from Mexico or 1-844-528-6611 from the United States.
- The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is located at:
Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtémoc, 06500, Ciudad de México
- 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.