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The US Embassy in Mexico ordered the closure of its consular agency in Playa del Carmen last week and issued travel warnings for the region due to a security threat. Now, the US is reopening the consular and lifting some of the travel restrictions for US government employees.
Playa del Carmen is home to dozens of resorts and is a popular tourist destination. The US Embassy in Mexico issued a statement saying that the consular would reopen for normal operations yesterday.
Still, there is “ongoing security threat” in the area. The statement listed multiple neighborhoods that US government officials are prohibited from visiting and that US citizens should avoid:
“U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travel to Centro, Calica, Gonzalo Guerrero, Quintas del Carmen, and Villas del Carmen neighborhoods of Playa del Carmen. These neighborhoods are bordered by Avenida Benito Juarez, 50 Avenida Sur (Highway 307), and Calle 34 Norte. U.S. citizens should avoid those neighborhoods until further notice.”
US officials are now authorized to travel “to resort areas in Riviera Maya including those near Playa del Carmen that are outside the restricted neighborhoods.”
Some of the neighborhoods’ government personnel and tourists are supposed to avoid are popular areas with hotels, shops, bars and restaurants.
In February, there was a bombing on a passenger boat that ferries travelers between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. A week later, an explosive device was found on another boat. Both events are still under investigation.
The release says US government officials are still prohibited from taking the ferry on that route, and US citizens should still avoid travel on ferries between the two cities.
The US Embassy still recommends US citizens to take the following actions:
- US citizens should avoid those neighborhoods in Playa del Carmen listed above until further notice.
- US citizens should not use ferry services operating between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel.
- Be aware of your surroundings and exercise increased caution.
- Purchase travel insurance that specifically covers you in Mexico and includes medical evacuation insurance.
- Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you need assistance.
Mexico has placed 60 federal police officers and four dogs that are trained to detect weapons and explosives at the Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel maritime terminals.
H/T: Chicago Tribune
Featured image by Joel Tzab / AFP / Getty Images.
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