Is Tulum safe for summer break in 2020 after COVID19?
Tulum has been a laid back tourist place ever since it was discovered. Home of the famous Tulum Mayan Ruins lots of people visit the little city a few kilometres up the road from the tourist hotspot. Will it be as laid back as it was after COVID19?
Tulum, in comparison to other parts of Quintana Roo, had only a few contaminations
Mexico is working from the Semaforo (the traffic light) the colours red, orange, yellow and green stand for different phases in the re-activating process and to start the ‘new normal’.
At the moment when I write this article on May 31, all of Quintana Roo is red. That includes Tulum, for the Tourism Semaforo.
There are 2 Semaforo’s, one for general reopening the society and one for tourism. While Tourism Semaforo might give other colours than the regular one, you might find more limitations outside your resort.
But the plan to reopen is starting June 1 and tourism will start to slowly open up around June 8 for 74 hotel chains, mostly all-inclusive resorts with multiple locations.
Some of them in Tulum:
The 163 smaller hotels in Riviera Maya 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. Please note that when you stay in an Airbnb the Tourism Semaforo will not count for you, this is only for hotels.
What to expect when having a vacation in the New Normal in Tulum?
Everything from transportation to the check-in procedure and the restaurants will be different. Transport will be done in smaller groups, sanitization is a must, and so is wearing a face mask.
Upon check-in, you will first enter a sanitation zone, where the necessary precautions are taken to make sure you are healthy upon entering the hotel. You will be explained hotel policies about cleaning and sanitization. About behaviour and how restaurants and buffets are working under the ‘new normal’. You have to obey those rules for the safety of yourself, the workers and those you return to back home.
The rules and regulations are set up by the health department
Both the Mexican Tourism Board and the State government work towards a safe environment, in daily scheduled meetings between different departments on state and federal level, the health department has set a set of precautions, according to the WHO.
Added to that are the measurements Mexico want to take.
Hotels, resorts and tourist hotspots can apply for a certificate that proofs they have taken the right precautions to guarantee safety for both guests and workers. This is a voluntary certificate, issued by the government after the hotel has passed the test. So not all hotels will have this. If you want to feel extra safe, you can check upon booking if this certificate is available.
This might be wise to do when you book a smaller hotel.
It will not be the same as your previous vacation
You have to forget your own memories, and what you found on Google Images, or heard from an enthusiastic friend. The society has changed, the hotels have changed and it will be all different.
Shops in tourist areas will stay closed until the government decides it is safe enough to open
tourist hotspots, like parks, archaeological sites and cenotes will start at 40% capacity until the Semaforo reaches green.
The hotel beaches will open, but a beach walk is probably limited, depending on the colour of the State according to the economical Semaforo.
At the moment there are curfew and alcohol limitations, which has been extended until June 15.
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.
What is the status of Sargasso in 2020
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 in Playa del Carmen and do get regular reports about Puerto Aventuras, and I am sad to announce that there is quite a bit of 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.
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.