Just in time for the holidays and the busiest travel period of the year, the U.S. State Department just issued a travel advisory asking Americans to reconsider travel to Mexico.
The reason they give is due to Covid-19 and an increased risk of crime and kidnapping. Similar to the United States, Mexico is a large country with 32 states. They’re not all created equal, including within states or cities themselves, just like here at home. For example, there are parts of L.A., New York, Miami, New Orleans, Chicago, heck every U.S. city, that I wouldn’t go to. Some are just a block or two away from popular hangouts.
The five states that the U.S. warns not to travel to are:
- Colima state due to crime and kidnapping.
- Guerrero state due to crime and kidnapping.
- Michoacan state due to crime and kidnapping.
- Sinaloa state due to crime and kidnapping
- Tamaulipas state due to crime and kidnapping
I don’t think many Americans go to the states listed above. Most travel to Cancún, which is located in the state of Quintana Roo and that’s listed as “Exercise Increased Caution.” Same goes for Baja California Sur state, which is where Cabo San Lucas is located.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued “a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Mexico due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC’s specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Mexico.”
I have plenty of American friends who live in Mexico or visit regularly and they think this is a joke because they say they feel much safer in Mexico than they do in the US because of gun violence, crime and people not wearing masks. In Mexico, mask wearing is very strict, unlike in the U.S.
If you’re going to the popular tourist destinations, I wouldn’t worry about going because the Mexican government knows how vital tourism is to their economy so they’ve beefed up security after a couple of high profile incidents.
The State Department lists some tips on their Mexico advisory page, which is good advice for traveling anywhere in the world, including in the good ole’ US of A. They say:
If you decide to travel to Mexico:
- Review the S. Embassy’s webpage on COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s web page on Travel and COVID-19.
- Keep traveling companions and family back home informed of your travel plans. If separating from your travel group, send a friend your GPS location. If taking a taxi alone, take a photo of the taxi number and/or license plate and text it to a friend.
- Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving alone or at night. In many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities.
- Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
- Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
- Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
- Mariners planning travel to Mexico should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts, which include instructions on reporting suspicious activities and attacks to Mexican naval authorities.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
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