Mexico approves accepting cruise ships with COVID-19 cases after Puerto Vallarta disallows disembarkation

The Government of Mexico announced on Tuesday that cruise ships that have passengers with COVID-19 cases will be allowed to disembark after the disembarkation of a cruise ship in Puerto Vallarta was denied because it had several confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2.

According to a statement issued by the Ministries of Health and Tourism, authorities will attend to travelers with COVID, according to the international health regulations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

This decision occurs amid growing restrictions in other countries due to the omicron variant, however, the Mexican government said that “people who do not present symptoms will be able to do their tourist activities with respect to basic prevention measures: correct use of face masks, and frequent handwashing,” measures that are not enforced.

“Asymptomatic people or with a mild condition will be kept in preventive quarantine, and those who present serious symptoms will be treated in the hospitals of the cities where they are,” indicated the government secretariats.

Mexico’s opening to tourism occurs while the country accumulates more than 3.9 million cases and is approaching 300,000 deaths from COVID-19, the fourth-highest figure in the world.

But the official in charge of the pandemic, the Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell, argued this Tuesday that the omicron variant is “overestimated”, of which there are only 42 cases confirmed by the Government. A number that is extremely underestimated when north of the border in the US there are 100,000 omicron infections recorded every day while the Mexico and US borders remain open with hundreds of thousands of people crossing the land border each day, and the US is the main source of tourism for Mexico.

Mexico has continually downplayed and underreported cases of COVID-19 in the country in an attempt to reduce the impact on tourism, the largest industry in the country.

“Our country maintains its policy of solidarity and fraternity, as well as the principle of non-discrimination towards all people, so the health and tourism authorities remain pending to provide necessary medical assistance to those who visit us for recreational reasons” they concluded.

It’s important for travelers to remember that if they require medical care in Mexico, they will be required to pay all medical bills in full before being discharged or face criminal charges.

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