The United States has issued a new special health alert for travel to Mexico for Spring Break. The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) has listed various precautions for all American tourists this year.
OSAC says: “Each year, thousands of U.S. citizens visit Mexico during spring break. While the vast majority travel safely, visitors should consider the following factors when planning their vacation or traveling throughout Mexico.”
The New Travel Guidance
OSAC says crime—including violent crime—can occur anywhere throughout Mexico; they suggest crime even happens in popular tourist destinations. They add: “Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations.”
OSAC says all U.S. citizens should exercise added caution in downtown areas of Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, and Cancun after dark. The U.S. travel advice varies depending on the Mexican state; OSAC advises travelers to see specific information for each Mexican state.
OSAC says drug possession and drug use—including medical marijuana—is illegal in Mexico and may lead to a long jail sentence. They said: “U.S. citizens have become seriously ill or died in Mexico after using synthetic drugs or adulterated prescription pills.”
OSAC says all U.S. citizens should be wary of unregulated alcohol. They say: “U.S. citizens have reported losing consciousness or becoming injured after consuming alcohol that was possibly unregulated.” Tourists may find unregulated alcohol in popular tourist destinations—such as Cancun.
OSAC says U.S. citizens have reported being victims of sexual assault and rape in various popular resort areas. They say: “Perpetrators may target inebriated or isolated individuals or may employ drugs that alter the victim’s physical or mental state.”
OSAC says some beaches in Mexico, even in popular tourist areas, have strong rip tides and undercurrents. They warn that beaches often lack warnings, lifeguards, and even signs of unsafe conditions.
OSAC says: “An illness or accident could result in the need to seek medical treatment or hospitalization in Mexico.” They warn that private hospital prices can be higher than those in the United States, with many hospitals requiring payment in cash-only.
Guns & Ammunition
OSAC warns all U.S. citizens against using guns and ammunition. They warn that even small amounts of guns lead to long jail sentences.
OSAC warns that drunken behavior, such as public urination, leads to arrests and potential prosecution.
OSAC Recommends All U.S. Tourists:
- Read the Mexico Travel Advisory and the Country Information Page.
- Enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive up-to-date information on safety conditions in Mexico.
- Call 911 for any emergencies. Although English speakers are available, tourists should seek the assistance of a Spanish speaker if they don’t speak Spanish.
- Ensure their health insurance plans provide coverage in Mexico for COVID-19 and other health issues
- Check the CDC’s Travelers’ Health information for Mexico
- Check the Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for up-to-date information about health risks and conditions in Mexico.
- Avoid all strong currents when swimming
- Drink responsibility and watch what they drink
- Regularly monitor their credit card transactions to ensure no unauthorized transactions
- Keep their friends and family notified of their travel plans
- Keep their passport and entry permit safe
Mexico is the most popular destination for U.S. tourists. Although most visits to Mexico are crime and trouble-free—all tourists should take standard precautions, especially if they’re leaving popular tourist destinations in Mexico.
With that said, Mexico currently has limited COVID-19 restrictions, and the nation is back to relative normality; therefore, it’s the perfect destination in 2022.
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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