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2 years into the pandemic, Mexico finally adds several COVID-19 restrictions

Jan. 19, 2022
4 min read
2 years into the pandemic, Mexico finally adds several COVID-19 restrictions
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Mexico has had one of the most relaxed COVID-19 entry requirements in the world. Unlike its neighbor to the north and some of its neighbors in Central America, travelers didn’t have to take a coronavirus test or show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter the country or move around once there.

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What resulted was a boon for travel: Mexico welcomed more than 20 million international visitors between January and August 2021. That’s a 28% increase from 2020 when just 16 million international arrivals visited the country.

According to data from the Mexican Secretary of Tourism, more than 3.8 million international passengers visited Cancun alone during the first eight months of the year. And famous beach town Los Cabos saw a 97% increase in international arrivals between 2020 and 2021.

But loose restrictions came at a massive human cost. Nearly 4.4 million people have tested positive for the virus in Mexico since the pandemic began, and more than 300,000 have died.

Now, Mexico appears to be trying to course-correct by adding new restrictions as the omicron variant spreads.

In Jalisco, home to Puerto Vallarta, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours will be required to enter sporting events, casinos, bars and clubs, concerts, event halls and convention centers, Governor Enrique Alfaro announced on Jan. 10.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, proof of vaccination is now required to enter local businesses in Tlaxcala as well as Baja California, home to the border cities Tijuana and Mexicali.

Proof of vaccinations will be required for entry into businesses, entertainment outlets, restaurants and sporting events for local residents in Sinaloa. That requirement doesn’t apply to foreigners, but the embassy warns that tourists may still be asked to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

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Since June 2020, the Mexican government has used a so-called stoplight system, which is frequently updated, to determine what is allowed to open or must remain closed in its states. While bars and clubs may be open in one state, those activities may be prohibited entirely in another. These restrictions apply not just to Mexican citizens but also tourists.

The four metrics to assess the colors (green, yellow, orange and red) are the trend in numbers of new cases, hospital occupancy trends, current hospital occupancy rates and percentage of positive cases.

Under the “green” designation, all activities are allowed with no restrictions. Under the “yellow” designation, some public spaces are open, but enclosed public spaces operate at reduced capacity.

Under “orange,” nonessential companies can work with 30% of their personnel. Open-air public spaces will operate with a reduced capacity, but indoor areas will be completely shut down. Hotels and restaurants can operate at 50% capacity, while theaters and shopping centers are capped at 25%. Large events, as well as nightclubs and bars, are supposed to be shut down.

Under “red,” the strictest designation, hotels can operate at 25% capacity, but congregating in common areas is not allowed. Only room service or delivery service is permitted.

Featured image by Shutterstock
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Rewards Rate

5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 80,000 Points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees