Why has Mexico quickly become a popular hot spot for U.S. citizens seeking a respite from COVID-19?

Photo: Reuters

 quickly became a popular hot spot for U.S. citizens seeking a respite from COVID-19 (and its policies) in the United States during the early months of the pandemic.

With its proximity to the U.S., cheap flights and relatively lax entry requirements, Americans flooded popular destinations like Cancun, Tulum, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City. But last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its recommendation for travel to Mexico in light of the worsening global health crisis.

We’ll break down the advisory change and what you need to know if you have a trip to Mexico planned.

In December, the CDC assigned Mexico a Level 4 “very high” COVID-19 designation and said that “all travel” to the country should be avoided.

The CDC recommends that travelers who still plan to travel to Mexico should get tested for coronavirus one to three days before travel to Mexico and again one to three days before departure back to the U.S. Upon return to the U.S., the CDC recommends another test three to five days after travel. The CDC also recommends that you stay home for seven days after travel, or for a full 10 days if you don’t get tested.

The coronavirus pandemic in Mexico

More than 130,000 people have died in Mexico since the pandemic, trailing only behind the U.S., Brazil and India. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, the country recently crossed the grim threshold of nearly 1.5 million positive cases, with over 13,000 positive cases on Jan. 6, 2021.