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In Mexico now

This is my first trip out of the country in two years. It’s been a bit stressful.
AA announced the rules for masks for the flight but did very little monitoring and flight attendants were rarely seen after takeoff. Complaints were made because some ignored the rules and did not wear a mask once seated. Unfortunately two of them were seated beside me. Yes, I complained quietly but it took three warnings for their compliance. I was very uncomfortable on the flight. It got worse upon arrival.
We arrived in Cancun on Saturday and it was an absolute mess at Hertz rental. There were nine reps working desks while 50 people waited in line for over two hours to get their cars. Absolutely no social distancing from the airport to the resort. There is no such thing. Only one person allowed in the office per reservation so lots of kids and family members were just standing in the heat.

The resort staff are 99 % compliant with wearing masks correctly. The non compliant 1 percenters who are non compliant are mostly male. And the tourists are acting like there isn’t a pandemic which is truly sad to see. Most are not compliant with masking or distancing which I feel it’s disrespectful to the staff especially since we had to sign an agreement to follow all Covid masking rules, etc, while staying at the resort.
Your temperature is monitored before entering a restaurant or shop ( I eat outside). I’ve never seen wait staff clean so well and so often. They are doing a good job.
I guess bad behavior is to be expected when there aren’t any restrictions for entering the country. The lack of respect for not adhering to the resort rules is beyond me to understand.

Posted by
7818 posts

I have traveled to Mexico many times and you definitely need patience when you go there.

Your issues with masks are minor for the enjoyment that you can find in Mexico. While in Cancun, suggest going to the ancient Mayan site, Chichen Itza.

Posted by
7050 posts

I've been to the Cancun Airport many times pre-Covid and it's always a zoo. Unfortunately, many Americans and Canadians and other international travelers have been treating Mexico as a Covid-free party zone throughout the entire pandemic. There have been many news articles about infection spread in the country due to tourists who go there to escape any kind of restrictions, including in LA Times, Washington Post, etc. No surprise at all about the airport experience (although I can't imagine wearing a mask in that completely humid, stuffy, elbow-to-elbow environment where all the lines are crowded as far as the eye can see). Cancun was a small fishing village prior to its current form as a tourist zone that can't function without tourism, so it was a political non-starter to try to put in any restrictions. Unfortunately, it's a poor country and so many jobs depend on tourism in areas like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, etc.

The Mexican people are wonderful and keep all the lodging spotless, no matter where you go (resort or non-resort). If you ever go again in the future, I would recommend staying off the resort track. There are gorgeous Colonial villages and cities in the Yucatan (Vallodolid, Merida, etc) and the lodging and food are very nice and affordable, and the areas feel very local and safe.

Posted by
180 posts

Obviously you haven't been to Florida lately. Even when the pandemic was at it's worst, there was no such thing as mask compliance.
Actually, I don't even think they knew there was a pandemic.

Posted by
10296 posts

Diane, I'm sorry because I know you have been extremely cautious and considerate.

From what you describe, it sounds like a cruise along the Mexican coast would have been safer and more respectful.
Ships at 40-60%, multiple tests and masks required, passengers complying, individual outdoor space, distancing.

I hate to say this but Cancun is hardly Mexico, so I hope this doesn't give a bad impression of the rest of the country or Yucatan. I'm so sorry for the people who work there and have to deal with self-entitled visitors
Stay safe.

Posted by
4606 posts

As note to other travelers:

Better I think to pre-arrange private transport from the Cancun airport to a local hotel that rents cars. Spend a night or 2 in the Cancun hotel zone (contrary to popular opinion, it's a nice place to be) then drive away from the coast with your rental car, no waiting for it, and see the Yucatan sites. This gets you out of the airport fast (there will be a driver with a sign with your name on it waiting there for you) and completely skips the all inclusive resorts down (and now up) the coast from Cancun called the Riviera Maya et al, perhaps a desirable decision. I had no interest in seeing any of that, and the children did not miss the resorts, either. A different way to travel for those who want social distancing, don't want a cruise, and want to experience the quite interesting sites and culture of Mexico.

OP: Since you have a car, get an early start from the coast to the inland Maya sites, be there at opening (8 or 9), because by 10 when the resort and cruise tour buses pull in it's a zoo till about 3-4. At Chichen Itza truck right to the ball court and the main pyramid so you can see them without crowds, then filter into the fringe areas when the buses arrive. And if you are not getting what you want out of the trip, just walk out on the resort, climb into a car and head inland. There are hotels and Airbnbs that are not very expensive.

Posted by
2873 posts

Good advice from Tom. We've used the airport driver tactic a couple of times at other destinations in Mexico and it's always worked out well for us.
Diane's experience is a cautionary tale - the arrival processing at airports in Mexico is chaotic enough without the added stressor of trying to collect a rental immediately upon arrival.

Posted by
3297 posts

Sorry this is putting a downer on your trip, but I am not sure why you would have expected anything different. Here in USA, mask compliance is 50/50 everywhere I have been. We even went to Disneyland in December when CA had mask mandates, and there were Disney cast members not wearing a mask. If I went to Mexico, I would not expect it to be different. I hope you stay covid free and enjoy your vacation.

Posted by
10334 posts

I’m sorry your travel was so stressful and that people aren’t trying harder to comply with the rules. It’s good that the staff is doing a great job. I hope you can relax and enjoy the rest of your trip.

Posted by
1379 posts

We visited Mexico City back in September and most everyone was wearing a mask. I don't remember if it was required or voluntary but it worked.

Posted by
2122 posts

Diane, huge thank you for sharing your experience.

Until we no longer hear of such disappointing experiences, we will "sit tight" and delay travel.

I hope the rest of your trip surprises you with delight, as you are sure doing YOUR part to practice reasonable precautionary measures.

Posted by
7818 posts

We live in South Georgia, not far from Florida and yes, Georgia and Florida have not been shut down since the first shutdown in early 2020. Few wear the masks and we are going just fine.

Posted by
7653 posts

Few wear the masks and we are going just fine

Aside from both States being ranked in the top 10 in the US for Deaths per 100,000 and the just over 100,000 Deaths seen as "collateral" damage.

Posted by
2096 posts

I’ve been visiting Mexico every winter for 25 years and have seen the ruins and most major sites a dozen times. I plan on going to Coba sometime next week as one of my friends has never been to the Cancun area. The drive to Chi Chen Itza is a bit more than I want to do. I’ve been there six times. No need to go again.
I’m well aware of travelers using Mexico as a “their no pandemic party place!” I just wasn’t prepared to spend so much time standing in a long line for a car and for the sheer number of people throwing caution to the wind. I have my N95s for the plane and KN 95s and surgical mask for outside double masking in crowded areas. The surgical masks hold the KN 95s tight to my face. It’s hot and humid and I’m actually not having too much trouble wearing them in-spite of the heat.
I’m here with four girlfriends and one just can’t seem to wear her mask when she should. It’s been tough getting her to be a bit more respectful of the rules imposed here. I see a good majority of Mexicans wearing masks on the streets and it’s is impressive.
I have no idea if this is true but my mask adverse friend arrived hours befor us and an American couple she was talking to told her that everyone testing at the resort for return flights are ALWAYS negative. There is never a positive result. I find that hard to believe and I hope it isn’t true. I’ll be double masked on the flight home for sure.
Anyway, this is a test for our scheduled Portugal and Spain trip in the fall.

Posted by
7818 posts

Paul,
We are doing better than California and New York.

Sweden didn't shut down at all and now the fatalities have nearly flatlines. There is herd immunity.

Posted by
7050 posts

Can you clarify where masks are worn in the resort and outside the resort? Only inside? Are people expected to wear them outdoors too, like in markets or other crowded places? I am considering going to Campeche late this year (non touristy area) but really need to know what to expect with masking.

Posted by
2096 posts

Agnes,
The resort requires masks indoors except your room and while in any crowds outdoor space. The staff wear masks at all times indoors and out.
The smart tourist wears a mask outdoors while amongst crowds on crowed walkways. Many tourist don’t. It amazes me how many don’t in elevators. I take the stairs.
We went to Playa Del Carmen ( huge mistake) as it was shoulder to shoulder people, unmasked but for a few, and blaring techno music. 5th avenue used to be nice 20 years ago. It’s been ruined. All restaurant employees wore masks, tables were not distanced. I find a place with few people, no roof and open walls on two sides. We ate there and the food was good.
Puerto Aventuras was not crowded. Akumal was a zoo with scads of snorkeling tours and their customers everywhere. You can no longer get on the beach there without paying. Heck, you can’t even see the beach because they put up a fence.

Posted by
7050 posts

Thank you for your respose, Diane. I think there's a lot of "mask theater" that goes on where employees have to follow strict rules to give a semblance of "safety" while tourists obviously don't. That's what I would have expected except maybe some areas of Mexico like Oaxaca and Mexico City. Your airport experience brought back bad memories - hot, stuffy, crowded and everyone trying to get you on their (overpriced) shuttle to the hotel zone. I don't know if it will be possible, but I will try to fly into Merida instead, it's closer to where I want to visit anyway. Unfortunataly, my travel buddy made the mistake of getting stuck with a Cancun resort timeshare so that it always a mandatory stop.

Posted by
2096 posts

Agnes,
I wish you luck and a better experience than I had.
While staff wear masks inside the hotel and in business all over, 99% are cloth, surgical and very few N95s and KN 95s.
Our visit today to a Cenote that I’ve been to multiple times was another nightmare. I’ve never seen more than five to ten people there at a time. Today there were hundreds. We left.