With its teeming cities and secluded jungle, Mexico attracted a record number of British tourists a few years ago, with more than 521,000 travelling to the country in 2016.
After the UK government finally revealed which countries would be on its “green list” when foreign leisure travel resumes on 17 May in England, is it possible to visit Mexico again? Here’s what we know so far.
Is Mexico on the green list?
No. Mexico has been placed on the amber list initially. This means travellers returning from there to the UK must provide a pre-departure negative Covid test result (this can be a lateral flow, rapid antigen or PCR test); quarantine for 10 days at home on arrival to the UK; and pay for two PCR tests, to be taken on day two and day eight after returning to the UK.
However, those in England can opt to pay for a third test on day five, which, if negative, allows them to end self-isolation early.
Am I allowed to visit an amber list country?
It is not illegal or officially banned, and you no longer need to provide proof of an essential reason for international travel from England as of 17 May. But the Department for Transport has advised travellers that they “should not be travelling to ‘amber’ and ‘red’ countries for leisure”.
When could Mexico move to the green list?
The earliest it could move from amber to green is one week after the next official review. The first update is expected to take place between 1 and 4 June, so any changes will then come into effect a week later (8-11 June).
Reviews of the lists will then take place every three weeks.
Passengers travelling from green countries must take a pre-departure test, plus one PCR test within two days of arriving into the UK, but have no need to quarantine.
What are the current entry requirements for Mexico?
Travellers to Mexico must complete a health declaration form and scan the QR code it generates upon arrival in the country.
There is currently no requirement to provide a negative PCR test or quarantine on arrival, though many resorts ask guests to complete health questionnaires.
Visitors concerned they may have Covid-19 symptoms should ask for the Sanidad Internacional health organisation upon arrival.
What are the current restrictions in Mexico?
Local advice is for people to remain at home wherever possible, particularly those aged 60 and above, pregnant people and those with underlying health conditions.
Additional measures and restrictions implemented to stem the spread of the virus have been introduced on a regional basis, based on a traffic light system.
In Mexico City, open-air concerts and sporting events are set to resume this week - more than three months after Covid-19 infections peaked throughout the country - after the Government announced that the public hospital network is experiencing its lowest occupancy rate of the pandemic.
And Yucatán, home of the popular honeymoon beach resort of Cancún, began to relax pandemic restrictions last month after nearly a year of restrictions.
On 18 March, the Mexican Government partially closed its land borders with the US, Guatemala and Belize as a “preventative measure against Covid-19”. This will remain in place until 20 May. International air travel has not been affected.
In December, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that politicians who introduce lockdowns or curfews to limit the spread of Covid-19 are acting like dictators.
His comments came as the World Health Organisation described the country as being “in bad shape”, urging leaders to take the pandemic seriously.
The Mexican leader, who rarely wears a face mask, said that measures that inhibit people’s movements are “fashionable among authorities … who want to show they are heavy-handed, dictatorship.
“A lot of them are letting their authoritarian instincts show,” he said, adding “the fundamental thing is to guarantee liberty.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there have been 218,928 deaths in this country of 130 million people, the fourth-highest toll in the world. However, Mexico’s testing programme has faced criticism with officials estimating that this may be higher.
Mexico has administered at least 21,228,359 doses of the vaccine, equating to around eight per cent of the country’s population.