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U.S. Travelers To Mexico Still Unaffected As Omicron Cases Nearly Double In A Week

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Throughout the pandemic, Mexico has remained a relatively safe and open tourist destination for travelers, especially for those arriving from the United States and Canada who are looking to fly somewhere with few COVID-related restrictions.

Unlike most countries in Europe, which have enacted outright bans on certain visitors or implemented strict testing or quarantine regimes, Mexico opted to go the other way completely.

Puerto Vallarta In Mexico

Even after the arrival of the new Omicron variant, no changes seem to have been made to the nation’s border policy or entry requirements – in particular for fellow North American visitors.

Still, the new variant seems to be spreading just as quickly as everywhere else.

Omicron Cases Nearly Double In A Week

According to data shared by GISAID – Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data, Mexico had since December 27 identified 42 cases of the new highly contagious variant, which has caused other countries to reintroduce restrictive measures and even delay reopening plans.

This is nearly double the number of cases registered up until a week earlier on December 20, when Mexico had totalled only 23 cases. Additionally, on December 27, 47.46% of the samples collected for genome sequencing in the country were Omicron cases.

Although no nationwide measures to tackle the spread have been announced so far, especially regarding US or Canadian visitors arriving for winter, the rise in Omicron share is still a cause for concern.

Can US Citizens Still Travel To Mexico Despite Omicron?

Woman Holding Abierto Sign In Mexico

Under present rules, US citizens are still permitted to enter Mexican territory regardless of vaccination status and despite Omicron’s rapid spread.

The only other requirement is filling out a free Vuela Seguro form, which must be presented to border authorities upon landing.

US Passport Being Stamped

Visitors are still advised to check any other restrictions that may be in place in a specific destination. For example, a hotel in Cancun has recently become the first in the Riviera Maya to introduce mandatory testing for guests.

Is Mexico A Safe Destination For Tourists This Winter?

COVID-19 tests in Tulum

Even though Omicron numbers keep climbing, Mexico has yet to see a big surge in overall cases as experienced in fellow Western Hemisphere nations.

On the first 22 days of December, the average daily case count was 2,387 from a total of 52,528 infections reported during that period. Compared to daily average in November, that is in fact an 11% decline.

On the other hand, according to Our World in Data, Mexico tests far less people compared to countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States or Germany, which inevitably leads to less COVID infections being picked up, whether caused by the new strain or not.

Cabo San Lucas In Mexico

The testing trend also possibly translates into lower genomic sequencing rates, as they are paramount in identifying Omicron cases and providing a clearer picture of infection trends on a national level.

Meanwhile, the moving-average case fatality rate has proved to be considerably higher than that of the other aforementioned nations, indicating the health situation might be in fact much more complex than it seems.

The 10 administrative regions that seem to be more heavily affected by rising cases are Baja California Sur, Baja California, Ciudad de México, Chihuahua, Aguascalientes, Coahuila, Sonora, Quintana Roo, Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí.

Irrespective of Omicron, Mexico’s tourist sector continues to benefit from a strong influx of visitors and a high hotel room occupancy rate.

What Does The CDC Advise?

The CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has placed Mexico on Level 3 alert on their website, meaning COVID levels are high and travelers should exercise caution when visiting.

According to the CDC recommendation, people should not travel to Mexico unless fully vaccinated in order to minimize infection and serious disease risks.

There are still direct flights to most popular destinations in Mexico from a number of US cities including Los Angeles, Houston and New York.

Read More:

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Julie

Friday 31st of December 2021

Omicron is not something to be afraid of -- viruses weaken as they mutate, and it's little more than a cold. The more cases, the better herd immunity. O cases are not really relevant. Wish the CDC would pull out the numbers for original and D versions, and count them separately. Otherwise, the statistics other than death rates are useless.

Barbara Scott

Tuesday 4th of January 2022

@Julie, You must be a virologist or medical doctor with many years of scientific training to make such comments. "Omicron is nothing to be afraid of" Viruses weaken as they mutate" Tell that to those who have died recently!

HealthFreedom

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

!!VIVA MEXICO!! knows and continues to respect God-given Rights and Freedom

which sadly the Western countries (US, UK, EU, AUS...) no longer respect and have become tyrannical pharma dictatorships

Christian

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

The CDC can recommend whatever it wants to its obedient subjects, but it doesn’t seem to realize that Mexico tourist industry is targeting the unvaccinated niche market, tourists who are unable to visit other countries due to entry requirements. In regards to supposedly unreliable statistics due to fewer testings than other countries, this still doesn’t hold water considering the fact that the PCR test cycles are set to high to be a reliable instrument to measure case numbers.

Liberty

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

Again, omicron is the sniffles. It would stupid to enact any restrictions over the sniffles. If someone isn't sick, it's silly to test them. But even if you are sick, you'll be better in a few days. Just live, people.

Julie

Friday 31st of December 2021

@john, if someone is immunocompromised or fears getting this cold, they should remain separated, follow their healthcare providers advice, and make sure to get vitamins, exercise, and sunshine. You don't lock up an entire population for the few.

jenny

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

@john, so it is the governments overreaction of having everyone pay for a very small minority of people in the sensitive groups you are talking about instead of focusing all their resources on them to try and keep them safe.

If this was the plague that they make it to be, Mexico, open to everyone from every corner of the world, would be littered of bodies.

But it isn't. And even in places like Playa and Cancun, where everyone is mingling with eachother and partying, people are leading a normal life and health crisis are nowhere in sight.

Paul Hall

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

Mexico is doing the right thing. If they shut down the country lots of people would die from starvation because they would have no jobs and no money. Which is worse dying from covid or dying from starvation?

john

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

@Liberty, That's very easy to say for those who are not immunocompromised or old with weaker immune system. Yes if you're younger and relatively healthy, it may probably be just be the sniffles but your statement is seriously glossing over and generalizing the entire population.