Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

Mexico's tourism reopening strategies have been left up to individual states to decide. While some states have been slower to reopen, the state of Jalisco is reporting that its major tourist destination, Puerto Vallarta, is almost fully operational.

"We are proud to mention that we have the Safe Travel Stamp that is given by the World Travel and Tourism Council," Rocio Lancaster, undersecretary of tourism for the State of Jalisco, said during a virtual press conference on Sept. 3. "I think we need to work on the traveler's confidence that we are back in business and ready to welcome everyone.

"Regarding what is being open, it's pretty much everything, to be honest," she added.

At the airport in Puerto Vallarta, masks are required at all times. Passengers are required to step on disinfectant welcome mats to sterilize their shoes. Lines have been adjusted to allow for social distancing, and there is an increase of antibacterial gel dispensers. In the gate area, adjoining seats have been blocked off to allow or distancing.

In terms of Puerto Vallarta itself, beaches, major attractions, hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes, museums and galleries are open. Most of these, however, have limited capacities. For example, hotels are operating at 50% capacity in the entire state of Jalisco. Galleries and museums are open with 25% capacity.

Bars and nightclubs are open, which is different from other tourism destinations like Cancun where they remain closed. According to Lancaster, however, they close by 2 a.m. 

"The only thing that is closed in hotels are the spas," she added. But other general areas, including beaches and pools, are open.

"Your experience in Jalisco will not be affected in terms of what you can and cannot do," said Lancaster.

According to the New York Times, there have been more than 620,000 cases of Covid-19 in Mexico, with more than 67,000 deaths as of Sept. 6. The majority of cases continue to be in the Mexico City area, with more than 104,000 total cases.

That said, in the last seven days, Jalisco has seen 1,722 new cases, according to the New York Times. Other states are seeing fewer new cases. Quintana Roo, for example, has seen 447 cases in the last week, and Baja California Sur has seen 702 new cases in the past seven days. Mexico City has seen nearly 7,000 new cases.

The same Times article stated that back in May the publication found that the Mexican government was not reporting potentially thousands of Covid-19 deaths, so the actual numbers may be significantly higher.

Traveling to Mexico right now is a personal decision. The country is open to tourism, and destinations are working diligently to restore confidence in travel safety and resorts are showcasing best practices to travel advisors. If you or your clients do decide to travel, there are ways to do so responsibly to ensure safety for your party and those around you.

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