With new US testing requirements now coming into effect, the tourism industry is scrambling to get things in order to confront the forthcoming travel requirements.
While the tourism and travel sector were recently experiencing a semblance of recovery, the new US travel requirements appear to have taken the industry a step back.
The requirement of a negative test result as well as additional vacation days now needed to fulfill quarantine requirements, travelers have little incentive to carry forward with their travel plans.
Subsequently, airlines and resorts are rushing to develop strategies and procedures to alleviate the burdens travelers will face, with some resorts offering free COVID-19 tests and free 14-day quarantine stays in the event of a positive test result.
Resorts Expanding Testing Services
Beach resorts and hotels across Mexico and the Caribbean are looking to revamp on-site testing services to cater to travelers.
Hilton Worldwide Holdings are reported to be offering COVID-19 tests as well as access to tests throughout several of their resorts in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Marriott International will also be providing on-site testing in many of its properties in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Hyatt Hotels will be offering free on-site COVID-19 tests through May 31st for up to two guests per room.
Airlines Providing Tools for Travelers
United Airlines recently unveiled their new ‘Travel-Ready Center’, a digital solution providing travelers with a digital platform including information relating to COVID-19 entry requirements, local testing options and tools to upload required testing and vaccination documents.
Speaking on the new feature, United’s Executive VP for Technology and Chief Digital Officer, Linda Jojo stated:
“Starting today, our ‘Travel-Ready Center’ gives customers a personalized, step-by-step guide of what is needed for their trip, a simple way to upload required documents and quickly get their boarding pass, fully integrated within our app and website.”
American Airlines has also expanded the use of their VeriFLY app to be used for arrivals into the US from all international destinations.
New Travel Requirements Impacting Travel to Mexico
While Mexico proved to be a popular destination for travelers due to their relaxed restrictions for entry, the new travel requirements may possibly make the absence of tougher restrictions work against them.
Some analysts believe that since the pandemic was not taken as seriously by the Mexican government, they do not possess adequate resources and capabilities to easily comply with the new US travel requirements.
In an interview with the Guardian, Dr. Laurie Ann Ximénez-Fyvie of Mexico’s Autonomous National University stated:
“Simply meeting the demand of passengers traveling abroad is going to be a terrible problem when testing capacity isn’t up to the necessary level. The numbers just don’t add up because the testing capacity in Mexico is far too low.”
Notwithstanding, there are still many available testing options for travelers in Mexico. Major destinations including the Mexican Caribbean have reported the roll out of mass testing for all travelers.
Meanwhile, mayors of popular Mexican destinations Cancun and Playa Del Carmen have moved to an ‘orange’ warning level, affecting the operations of various tourist attractions such as bars, nightclubs, hotels and restaurants.
Cancun has also announced that they are currently well-equipped to meet traveler needs when it comes to testing.
Airlines are reporting an adverse impact in travel to Mexico, with United Airlines indicating they have experienced an increase in cancellations and decline in bookings.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories