Entering Mexico During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Health and safety regulations are not mandated on a federal level in Mexico and therefore vary by state. None are requiring negative Covid-19 tests for entry, but most are mandating that restaurants and other public facilities to reduce capacity by either 40 or 50 percent. Mexico also has no quarantine requirements, but it does ask incoming visitors to fill out a health declaration form and provide contact info. Many airports are also checking the temperatures of arriving travelers.

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Important:
if you are returning to the United States, you must get tested (NAAT or antigen) no more than 3 days before your flights to the U.S. or present documentation of having recovered from Covid-19 within the last three months.

Onsite testing is now available at many resorts; when planning your trip, check ahead with your hotel, or the destination's tourism website, for information about the area's testing options.

Passports

Citizens from all countries are required to present a valid passport for entry to Mexico. That includes all U.S. citizens, including children. They are required to present a valid passport or passport card for travel beyond the "border zone" into Mexico, with the "border zone" defined as an area within 20 to 30km (12-19 miles) of the United States. The passport should be valid for, at minimum, 6 months from your time of arrival in country.

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All U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling by air or sea to Mexico are required to present a valid passport or other valid travel document to enter or reenter the United States except if returning from a closed-loop cruise. In addition, all travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, attempting to enter the United States by land or sea must have a valid passport or other WHTI compliant document.

Other valid travel documents include the Passport Card and the U.S. Coast Guard Mariner Document. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty are eligible for fee-free passports. U.S. citizens may apply for the limited-use, wallet-size Passport Card, but we think applying for a regular passport makes more sense, as the passport card is valid only for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean region, and Bermuda, whereas a regular passport will work around the world.

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Safeguard your passport in an inconspicuous, inaccessible place, and photograph the critical pages (those with your passport number and photo) so you have a digital record of it. If you lose your passport, visit the nearest consulate of your native country as soon as possible for a replacement.

Passport Offices

  • Australia -- Australian Passport Information Service (tel. 131-232; www.passports.gov.au).
  • Canada -- Passport Office (www.canada.ca, click on "Travel and Tourism").
  • Ireland -- Passport Office (www.dfa.ie, click on "Passport Services").
  • New Zealand -- Passports Office (tel. 0800/225-050 in New Zealand or 04/474-8100; www.passports.govt.nz).
  • United Kingdom -- HM Passport Office (tel. 0300/222-0000; www.gov.uk, click on "HM Passport Office").
  • United States -- To find your regional passport office, check the U.S. Department of State website (travel.state.gov/passport).
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Visas

No visa is required for visitors to Mexico from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S., among other countries (see www.inm.gob.mx/gobmx/word/index.php/paises-no-requieren-visa-para-mexico for the full list). Visitors can stay legally for up to 180 days. At the entry point, you'll be given a Mexico Visitor's Permit (FMM) to fill out. Try not to lose it, as you'll need to show it when leaving the country, to prove you are within the 180 day limit. If you do lose it, you'll need to apply for a replacement at a local immigration office (available in every city and many towns) or at the airport. Taking a photo of the document is a good idea. The fee to replace the FMM is about $30 USD.

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Your FMM is stamped on arrival. If traveling by bus or car, ensure that you obtain such a card at the immigration module located at the border and have it stamped by immigration authorities at the border. If you do not receive a stamped tourist card at the border, ensure that, when you arrive at your destination within Mexico, you immediately go to the closest National Institute of Immigration office, present your bus ticket, and request a tourist card. Travelers who fail to have their tourist card stamped may be fined, detained, or expelled from the country.

If you plan to enter Mexico by car, please read the vehicle's importation requirements.

Note on travel of minors: Mexican law requires that any non-Mexican citizen under the age of 18 departing Mexico without both parents must carry notarized written permission from the parent or guardian who is not traveling with the child to or from Mexico. This permission must include the name of the parent, the name of the child, the name of anyone traveling with the child, and the notarized signature(s) of the absent parent(s). The U.S. Department of State recommends that permission include travel dates, destinations, airlines, and a summary of the circumstances surrounding the travel. The child must be carrying the original letter (not a facsimile or scanned copy), and proof of the parent/child relationship (usually a birth certificate or court document) and an original custody decree, if applicable. Travelers can also contact the Mexican Embassy or closest Mexican Consulate for more current information.

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Customs

If you have an unusual amount of luggage or an oversized piece, you may be subject to inspection. Passengers that arrive by air will be required to put their bags through an X-ray machine, and then move to the kiosk and push a button to determine whether their luggage will be selected for any further inspection.

What You Can Bring into Mexico -- When you enter Mexico, Customs officials will be tolerant if you are not carrying illegal drugs or firearms. Tourists are allowed to bring in their personal effects duty-free. The underlying guideline is: Don't bring anything that looks as if it's meant to be resold in Mexico. Those entering Mexico by air or sea can bring in gifts worth a value of up to $300 duty-free, except alcohol or tobacco products. The U.S. Embassy keeps an updated list of what can be brought into the country.

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For information on what non-Mexican visitors can be bring home from Mexico, be sure to check with your home country (use the link above for U.S. regulations):

Australian Citizens: The Australian government provides a detailed list of what can and cannot be brought home from abroad (www.abf.gov.au; click on "Entering and Leaving Australia").

Canadian Citizens: For a clear summary of Canadian rules, go to the Canada Border Services Agency (www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca, click on "Customs Tarriff").

New Zealand Citizens: Most questions are answered by the New Zealand Customs Service (www.customs.govt.nz, click on "Personal" to see the rules for individuals bringing goods back into the country).

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U.K. Citizens: Full information can be found on the website of the HM Revenue & Customs at tel. 0845/010-9000 (www.gov.uk).

Medical Requirements

Unless you're arriving from an area known to be suffering from an epidemic (particularly cholera or yellow fever, see top of page for Covid-19 information), inoculations or vaccinations are not required for entry into Puerto Rico.

If you have a medical condition that requires syringe-administered medications, carry a valid signed prescription from your physician; syringes in carry-on baggage will be inspected. Insulin in any form should have the proper pharmaceutical documentation. If you have a disease that requires treatment with narcotics, you should also carry documented proof with you -- smuggling narcotics aboard a plane carries severe penalties in Mexico.

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.