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Can I book a vacation in Riviera Maya in 2020

The Riviera Maya a dream location and one of the top locations in Mexico, do resorts accept bookings and how will it be to have a vacation under the ‘new normal’ in a country like Mexico?

Mexico is still working its way out of the COVID-19 epidemic through a system called Semaforo

On the road to recovery from a total shutdown of tourism with a virus that is highly contagious and still going around, not only in Mexico but worldwide, Mexico is taking precautions to make sure both tourist and workers will be safe during the coming years ar the world waits for a vaccine.

In the Riviera Maya, this means that hotels and tourist attractions can have a proof of safe measurements that guarantee a COVID-19 free stay by applying for a certificate that shows the hotel or attractions does everything according to government laws and regulations to keep both workers and tourists safe. This certificate is not mandatory.

It 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.
  • strict cleaning policies of rooms and public areas

depending on your location in the Riviera Maya your colour code on the Tourist Semaforo is either red or orange. For the economic Semaforo all Quintana Roo is red. That means that only essential businesses are activated on June 1.

Both Semaforo’s are active. This means that you can expect different rules when you leave the resort. Like Liquor ban or closed public beaches and a curfew.

Hotel chains in Riviera Maya that will open June 8 are:

  • Mayakobá,
  • Marriot,
  • Barceló,
  • Vidanta,
  • Catalonia,
  • Maroma,
  • Dreams,
  • El Dorado,
  • Princess,
  • Palladium,
  • Hilton,
  • Princess
  • Iberostar

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.

new normal in mexico tourism

What to expect when booking a vacation in the Riviera Maya 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.

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.

Semaforo Tourism Mexico 1

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 may remain closed depending on the other Semaforo.

The way the colours of the Semaforo change depends on certain criteria. Economic, social, mobility, demand, safety. To name a few.

COVID 19 in Mexico tourist area

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.

tourism semafoor Quintana Roo

How about tours and hot spots?

Depending on your location int he Riviera Maya the colour of your Area may differ from Red to Orange. (see image above)

Tourist hotspots, events and parks will open in a low capacity depending on the colour of the Semaforo. You may expect long waiting lines.

sargasso 2020 Quintana Roo

How about the Sargasso?

Every year the area of Riviere Maya is heavily suffering from tonnes of sargasso. Although predictions for this year were that there would be less than the last 2 years, still there will be a lot. There is sargasso already, the sea barriers were put up earlier this week, the ships are out to sweep it up. And the workers are cleaning the beaches at the resorts that open. The other beaches I have no idea. I am not allowed near any of them.

I looked at the beaches today, May 31, and they looked okay. There is Sargasso, but not as much as previous years, due to the wind coming in from the sea, there were large brown matrasses with sargasso floating around, the sea barrier is to be installed any day now and workers will clean up the beaches like they do every year. This will limit the inconvenience for the tourist regarding the seaweed.

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.