Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico (May 20, 2020)
Event: Mexico COVID-19 Update (May 20, 2020)
The number of confirmed and suspected cases is still increasing daily in several regions of Mexico. Mexico City, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, Yucatan, and Baja California currently report the highest incident rates of active cases (incident rate is the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days). Hospital occupancy rates are also increasing, with the highest levels in Mexico City, Mexico State, Guerrero, Baja California, and Veracruz. Mexican health authorities have reiterated calls for people to stay home during this time.
International commercial flight options currently exist in Mexico, but flights to the United States have been cut by nearly 90 percent since January. 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.
The annual 2020 Memorial Day Ceremony held at Mexico City’s National Cemetery has been canceled. In its place, there will be a private wreath-laying ceremony on May 25 with Ambassador Landau and the embassy’s senior Department of Defense official. The embassy will post the Ambassador’s remarks and photos from the event on social media.
The United States and Mexico entered a joint initiative March 21 restricting non-essential travel along the U.S.-Mexico land border to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. These restrictions apply to travel in both directions across the border. On May 19, the U.S. and Mexican governments extended the land border travel restrictions until June 22. Please see the DHS website or embassy fact sheet for more information.
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. On June 1, the Mexican government will initiate plans to phase in non-essential economic activities in some states and municipalities using a "stoplight" system.
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.
· Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
· 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.
· The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is located at:
Paseo de la Reforma 305
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.
· Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
· Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.