Cancún, Mexico. Photo: Pixabay

Cancun Is Open. Cancun remains one of the most attractive international travel destinations in 2021.

The Mexican Caribbean hotspot reopened with enhanced health and safety protocols in place last year and seen a tourism boom of late as hotels and resorts reopen and airlines increase flights. Visiting Cancun in the era of COVID-19 will require travelers to take some additional precautions but the resort city remains among the most exciting and accessible destinations. Here are some important things travelers should know ahead of a Cancun getaway this winter.

US State Department and CDC Advice

The U.S. State Department is currently advising Americans to reconsider travel to Mexico due to COVID-19. However, there are no travel restrictions for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo, the Mexican state which includes Cancun as well as other popular tourist areas such as Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Mexico due to the ongoing pandemic. The CDC recommends Americans avoid travel to Mexico but if they decide to, that they get tested and produce a negative result one to three days before their trip, wear a face mask, social distance from people outside of their travel group, wash their hands frequently and monitor their health for any signs of illness.

Travel Requirements

While non-essential travel along the U.S.-Mexico land border is restricted until at least February 21, Americans can still fly to Mexico for leisure purposes and don’t need a negative COVID-19 test result to gain entry. However, visitors must complete an online health questionnaire prior to their departure and should expect to undergo health screenings including temperature checks at airports and hotels and resorts. Travelers displaying symptoms may be subject to additional screening or quarantine.

Per the CDC order that went into effect on January 26, travelers to Mexico will need to secure a negative COVID-19 test result taken within the three days of their return flight to the U.S. The good news is that many hotels and resorts in and around Cancun have implemented convenient on-site COVID-19 testing programs, many of which will be free for guests. While getting tested before they leave is undoubtedly another hurdle for travelers, the destination is making it easy as possible for visitors and making travel safer as a result.

Enhanced Health and Safety Protocols

In addition to COVID-19 testing, travelers to Cancun can anticipate a plethora of other elevated health and safety measures, including face mask requirements, social distancing markers and omnipresent hand washing and sanitizing stations. Cancun has received the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travels stamp, which identifies destinations around the world that have successfully adopted its standardized global health and hygiene measures. Many of Cancun’s leading hotel and resort brands have also received the stamp upon implementing enhanced cleaning protocols, social distancing signage and barriers, capacity limits and more. “Some hotels offer mobile room keys, contactless payment etcetera,” the CDC’s Dr. Kristina Angelo told TravelPulse last year. “Many hotels have removed a lot of the frequently touched surfaces in the event your hotel has not, make sure you aren’t using them or are sanitizing them.”

First Impressions

“After my stay, I felt extremely comfortable sending my clients to Mexico,” Royal Destinations travel advisor Jovi Welch, told TravelPulse last month. “Since then, I’ve booked over ten last-minute vacations, and every one of them said how much of a great and safe experience that they had. I can’t speak for all destinations, but what I can say is: If you are ready to take a family vacation, bae-cation, a girl’s trip, guys getaway, or even travel solo, Mexico is the place to be.”

“All of the hotels we visited are taking the COVID-19 protocols very seriously. All the staff at all of the resorts are wearing masks,” wrote Paul Smith of New Jersey-based TravelSmiths. “We can tell you that if you were planning on getting away, especially after being trapped in your home for several months, now’s the time to go. It’s amazing how quick you are in and out of the airports, and there’s very little traffic on the highways, so getting to and from your resort is quick and easy.”

Travel Deals

Travelers eyeing a winter escape to Cancun will find plenty of amazing deals, including significant savings being offered by Playa Hotels & Resorts and the Palladium Hotel Group. Playa’s 2021 Kickoff Sale features rates slashed by as much as 70 percent in addition to hundreds of dollars in resort perks and free 24-hour cancellation while Palladium is offering savings of up to 50 percent as well as $1,500 resort credit on select stays at Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts and adults-only TRS Hotels.

Talk to a Travel Advisor

Working with a qualified travel advisor is a surefire way to make traveling easier, especially in the time of COVID-19 when requirements and restrictions are often changing. A trusted advisor can not only help you build the ideal itinerary based on your personal preferences but get you access to money-saving deals and special perks. Travel advisors also have access to real feedback from clients and not just anonymous TripAdvisor reviews as well as personal experiences in many of the destinations they’re selling. Check out to begin your search for a travel advisor based on your destination and type of trip.

Travel Pulse


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