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mexico travel restrictions

False Alarm: No Vaccine Passports Required to Eat, Drink in Cancún

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Word that one of the most popular destinations in Mexico would require proof of vaccination to get into hotels, bars, and restaurants lit up the internet last week. You may not need them to get into Mexico, but the prospect of mandatory health forms to eat, drink and sleep in Quintana Roo – home to Cancún, Playa del Carmen, and Riviera Maya – would complicate a trip down south.

Well, it appears that something got lost in translation. The Quintana Roo Tourism Board clarified on Monday that no such requirement for proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test is in place. Instead, that was a part of a set of health policy suggestions for bars and restaurants aiming to open above the current 50% capacity limits in place across

But no hotel, bar, or restaurant in the region has actually put that requirement in place. That means there's no need to worry anytime soon about showing your vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test to get around Cancún and other popular Quintana Roo desitnations like Playa del Carmen, Tulum or Cozumel.

mexico travel restrictions 

Always a popular destination, tourism to Mexico has surged throughout the pandemic thanks to the short flights from the U.S. and few entry requirements. Mexico has remained open to Americans from the very start, with no testing or proof of vaccination required to enter. Americans still need a negative COVID-19 test before flying back to the U.S.

Read more: When Will International Travel Resume? A Country-by-Country Guide

But as the country balances the importance of tourism against public health, Mexico is struggling with another outbreak of COVID-19 cases fueled by the fast-spreading Delta variant. COVID-19 cases in Mexico have swung upward in recent weeks to nearly their highest point since the start of the pandemic, with less than 20% of Mexicans vaccinated.

That's made a trip to Cancún and neighboring popular destinations like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, or Cozumel dicey, as the entire state of Quintana Roo has flirted with entering lockdowns for months.

It's currently listed as “orange” in Mexico's stoplight public health designation, meaning it's considered a high-risk area with several limitations on daily life. Moving to a red classification would put the state into lockdown.

While popular Mexican destinations may not be requiring proof of vaccination to visit bars and restaurants, that's become a common tactic elsewhere as countries across the globe try to fight the pandemic while preserving tourism.

In France, visitors need to show a “Health Pass” with their vaccination card or a negative test result to enter restaurants and other venues or use public transportation. Italy will soon adopt a similar approach with its mandatory “Green Pass” for restaurants, museums, and cinemas. Iceland recently added pre-travel testing requirements for Americans and other visitors to enter the country in addition to providing proof of vaccination.

Read up on how Europe is cracking down with new COVID-19 restrictions, too.


Bottom Line

False alarm. Whew.

Despite a wave of international press, it turns out that Quintana Roo won't be requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests to eat, drink, and sleep at some of Mexico's hottest tourist destinations.


This story has been updated to show that the Mexican state of Quintana Roo is not requiring vaccination cards or negative COVID-19 tests to enter bars, restaurants, and hotels.

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

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