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Cancun And Riviera Maya Will Remain At ‘Yellow’ Risk Despite Soaring Cases

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The Governor has announced that the state of Quintana Roo, which is home to the popular resort city of Cancun, will remain at the ‘Yellow' alert warning level for the week of January 17th to the 23rd. Governor Carlos Joaquín said the despite the record breaking cases over the last two days, hospital capacity remains stable at 14%. Joaquín explained that while the state of Quintana Roo and its tourism hotspots were close to moving to the ‘Orange' alert level, it was not necessary at this time.

Mexico has implemented a color coded ‘traffic light' system to identify different risk levels of Covid-19. Green is the lowest risk level followed by yellow, orange and finally red being the highest risk level. Each light color comes with a different set of restrictions residents, tourists and businesses must follow.

Governor Will Not Close The Cancun Economy

Governor Carlos Joaquín emphasized that the economy will remain open and that the state will not go back to where it was in 2020 with lockdowns.

“We have to learn to live with it, and not think about closing the economy again, we can't go back home and repeat what happened to us in 2020” Joaquin said. “We confined ourselves, closed the economy and jobs were lost,” explained Joaquín in an official press release from the Quintana Roo Government.

“For this reason, the maximum capacity in closed spaces must be respected in order to generate less risk of contagion for the population.”

Governor Carlos Joaquín
Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín

Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum are Open For Tourism

The Governor reiterated that tourism hotspots in Quintana Roo including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum will remain open for tourism. Joaquín declared that the state is still ready to receive tourists and has the proper sanitary measures in place to help protect residents, visitors and tourism workers.

“We are confident to continue with our economic recovery, but also care for the health of our workers and visitors” added the governor of Quintana Roo.

Covid-19 Infections Reach Record Numbers In Quintana Roo

The Governor confirmed that on the 11th and 12th of January, record numbers of Covid-19 infections were confirmed. Both days tallied over 1000 new infections due to a large influx of visitors over the holidays and new rapid spread of the omicron variant. An estimated 1.5 million tourists visited Cancun and the Riviera Maya over the holiday season.

Current Restrictions In Cancun Under Yellow Alert

Under the yellow alert essential services, such as hospitals, banks, and supermarkets will be allowed to function at full capacity.

-Office-based settings will only be able to function at 70% capacity

-Conferences will be limited to 70% if they are held in an outdoor space

-Hotels, restaurants, historical sites, theme parks, and any tourist services must operate at maximum 60% capacity

-Casinos will operate 50% of their capacity

-Bars, nightclubs, discos, and cantinas are closed (although if they serve food they will categorized as restaurants and remain open at reduced capacity)

What Happens If Your Test Positive While In Cancun?

Tourists that test positive for Covid-19 must self isolate until they recover for a minimum of 5 days before they are able to return to the United States. Passengers in Mexico are now allowed to fly back to the U.S. in less than a week following a positive test if they possess the following:

-Positive test that is at least 5 days old
-Letter of recovery
-No symptoms

Some airlines including Delta are still making passengers wait a minimum of 10 days so be sure to check with your airline before flying.


Alert Level Will Be Updated Weekly

The Governor will announce the updated risk level each week which could result in more capacity restrictions and some closures. An important update for visitors is that tourism is now considered an essential service in the state of Quintana Roo. That means that while capacity levels can be reduced, tourism infrastructure such as hotels and restaurants will not close.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Monday 17th of January 2022

“ Governor Carlos Joaquín said the despite the record breaking cases over the last two days, hospital capacity remains stable at 14%.” This is excellent news and the governor should move the traffic light to green instead of keeping it at yellow. Less hospitalization per case is proof that the virus is either less dangerous or we have reached mass immunity despite the ineffectiveness of the vaccines.


Sunday 16th of January 2022

It's either remain open and live life, or close down and destroy the economy to enact measures that don't work anyway. How's that two years of two weeks to flatten the curve feel?


Tuesday 18th of January 2022

@Liberty, It's going fine in places where people actually took steps to prevent spread. See: All of Asia.