Will it be safe to book a hotel in Cozumel in 2020 and what to expect? Are hotels open and how is the situation at the moment after COVID19? After all, Cozumel is a Cruise ship Port and Cruise ships were highly contagious places!
The Island of Cozumel is doing fine
On the road to recovery from a total shutdown and severe measurements to reduce the number of sick people, Cozumel is ready to open for tourist. They have not reported any new sick people for weeks.
In Cozumel and the rest of Riviera Maya, hotels and tourist attractions are working towards a safe environment for both workers and guests. Your resort or hotel may have a certificate of safe measurements that guarantee a COVID-19 free stay. But this certificate is not mandatory.
The new normal includes
sanitation stops and checkpoints at the main entrance
different ways of transport back and forth between the airport to the hotel
new rules for buffets and restaurants
and for the time being only a 30-40% occupation of rooms.
Working with a colour code referred to as “Semaforo” (traffic light) All of Quintana Roo, that includes Cozumel, today when writing this article on May 31 is orange.
Please note that Mexico works with two semaforo’s, one for the local economy and society and one for tourism. Both will apply, so you may find different rules outside your hotel.
Hotel chains named that will open on June 8 are:
Smaller hotels will reopen after July 1.
Airbnb has announced to follow state ordinance, so it is my good guess as Experience host that booking will be accepted through Airbnb from July 1.
What to expect when booking a vacation in Cozumel in the “New Normal”?
You will notice a difference starting at the airport when you arrive by plane. There will be checks, sanitisation and corridors.
From there the public transport and transfer provided by the hotel will be different from what you might be used to. There will be smaller groups, fewer people on the bus or minivan. You have to wear facemasks. Face Masks are mandatory in Quintana Roo.
At the ferry, to Cozumel there will be checkpoints again, for safety and health.
Instead of walking up to the front desk for check-in, you will first pass sanitary filters, where your temperature will be measured and you will be instructed on behaviour, hotel sanitisation policies and you have to sanitise before entering the hotel.
This will make the check-in procedure longer, but you can imagine it is for your own safety, the safety of the workers and for those back home to whom you return afterwards.
Both the Mexican Tourism Board and the State government work towards a safe environment
In the meantime, the named hotels are hiring staff and preparing for the visit of tourists, accepting a limited amount of bookings. They have to prepare the hotel for the new normal, restaurant capacity will be different, buffet’s and self-service restaurants all will have a different setup. Be aware that the holiday you remembered from the past and you long to return to will not exist anymore.
Shops in tourist areas and public beaches may remain closed depending on the local Semaforo. The way the colours of the Semaforo change depends on certain criteria. Economic, social, mobility, demand, safety. To name a few.
You should take this all very seriously
In a country where most people depend on a daily income and live day by day, the sacrifice of 8-9 weeks in isolation and lockdown has been a big one. I hope you remember that when you meet one of the first 10,000 workers that can restart working in hospitality on June 8 and that you will tip generously.
The Semaforo is the gateway to the new normal, a society where we keep distant, not make physical contact and where we clean and sanitize vigorously. Where we are honest about our state of health only to protect ourselves and others.
Please bear in mind that when you come to Quintana Roo a facemask is mandatory at all times when you are outside the resort. Inside the resort, you have to follow resort policies that fit the new normality.
Book your stay in Mexico
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*Disclaimer: Mexico is eager to restart tourism, from every 10 pesos earning for the State of Quintana Roo 5 come from tourism. And the sector provides so many job opportunities for people that now lost theirs due to COVID 19, rules may have changed since I wrote this article. Under no circumstances am I responsible for the booking and outcome of your travels to Quintana Roo.