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For business travelers seeking to visit Mexico, it’s important to understand the different travel regulations and local requirements. While positive test cases may remain high throughout the globe, most of North America has opened up to travel, especially for business travelers. In spite of the CDC’s advisory against travelling to Mexico, most of the country is on a low-risk status.
However, risks and regulations differ from state to state, so we will take a closer look to better set expectations for your travel. While current COVID restrictions in Mexico are lenient, overall, there are some areas that require more than others. Among your other considerations for business travel to Mexico, these insights will help you plan your travel.
Every other week, the Mexican federal government updates their nation-wide COVID monitoring system to provide citizens and foreign travelers guidance about local restrictions and risk of Coronavirus. The system operates on four levels of risk and corresponding restrictions.
As of the first week of March of this year, Mexico’s updated map shows approximately half of Mexican states in the green. The economy is fully open in these locations, with virtually no restrictions. The exception is that some cities still require masks or “cubrebocas” in public places. The federal government cited a dramatic drop in COVID positive tests or cases in opening up half of the country to full capacity and setting the other half of Mexican states to yellow.
Mexico City is one of the areas in the yellow. Most of the northern states along the border with the US are designated in the yellow, except for Tijuana and Baja California, which is in the green. This means that under current COVID restrictions in Mexico, all of Mexico is opened to most activities with minimal restriction.
While much of the world is protesting what many consider draconian lockdowns and vaccine requirements, Mexico has taken a different approach. Mexico has never mandated vaccines for citizens or visitors. While the border with the US was closed to US non-essential travel early on in the crisis, the border was fully reopened last year.
This means truckers have always been permitted to cross back and forth between the US and Mexico. And even during the border closure, business travel was permitted. Now, the border is fully re-opened, even to non-essential travel.
There is no vaccination requirement or negative test requirement. However, to re-enter the US, all travelers (including US citizens) must show a negative antigen test to return to the US. There is also no quarantine requirement under current COVID restrictions in Mexico. Those experiencing symptoms or having been in high-risk circumstances are encouraged to self-isolate, but there is no mandate. Airports and many resorts perform health screenings or ask quests to fill out a questionnaire. US business travelers may expect freedom of movement similar to pre-pandemic norms.
Domestically, Mexico never mandated the vaccines. There was no effort to encourage children to be vaccinated, but adults were generally vaccinated once or twice. Employers are not allowed to individually mandate vaccinations as a condition for employment. Currently, Mexico has administered approximately 180 million doses of the vaccine, or about 138 doses per 100 people.
Some states and city municipalities require face masks in public places. But generally, there are no requirements under current COVID restrictions in Mexico, since the populace overwhelmingly prefers to wear them voluntarily. In fact, a recent study found Mexico among the most mask-wearing countries in the world, with approximately 88.7% of the people wearing a mask in public.
US professionals who travel to Mexico for business will find that for the most part, Mexico has returned to pre-pandemic norms. The southern part of the nation is almost entirely in the green, and even the yellow states along the northern border with the US are almost entirely opened and restriction-free.
Baja California and the manufacturing hub in Tijuana are in the green and entirely re-opened. US travelers may cross the border with nothing more than a US passport. There is of course no Visa requirement in the border region. And there are no other requirements under current COVID restrictions in Mexico. Visitors are encouraged to follow basic safety precautions and enjoy the many restaurants, cultural attractions, and social events Mexico has to offer during their stay.