Updated: Sep 28, 2020
Within the last three months, I've departed, arrived or connected in seven airports, including: Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, LAX, Kansas City and Cabo San Lucas. In every case I've felt safe to travel.
Here's some information I've garnered that might help you make an educated decision on whether or not to travel:
(More questions or to book a trip? Ask me here!)
Airports and Flights
All airports and airlines had a mandatory mask requirement. I did not see a lack of compliance within the airport itself, except when people were eating or drinking. The gates at Delta and Cabo San Lucas had big X's on every other seat to keep people spread apart. Southwest didn't, but most passengers self-segregated from people they didn't know. Flights boarded in groups of 10. Social distancing was stressed everywhere - on the ground, on signage, and over the loud speaker. Mask compliance was added to the safety briefing by the Air Attendants and reinforced during the flight, including reminders to specific passengers to raise their masks over their nose. Delta handed out packets of sanitizer to wipe down the seats, armrests and trays. Delta and Southwest did not book middle seats and neither have plans to do so until at least November. The airports were a little more crowded than I expected, but less crowded than normal for summer season. It was hard to judge Customs in Cabo San Lucas because there was hardly anyone there. We were in and out in under 10 minutes (a miracle!)
In Sacramento and Denver, depending on the terminal, you have to take a tram to get to the gate. It was basically impossible not to touch the handrails or poles and people crowded in like it was 2019. In Cabo we had to take a small bus from our plane to the terminal; less than a five-minute ride. They filled every seat but stopped short of packing in a standing-room-only crowd. In each instance, everyone wore masks, the ride was short and we simply washed and sanitized our hands after exiting. Flights boarded in small groups and from the back of the plane to the front (when seats were assigned) but deplaning was a whole other matter; despite the announcement to social distance, people rose, got their luggage from the overhead, crowded the aisles and exited as fast as they could, one after another.
Cabo San Lucas
Currently, entry into Cabo only requires a form to be filled out asking the usual questions: Have you had a fever; have you been exposed to anyone who tested positive, etc. The questionnaire requires your flight, seat assignment and destination for tracking purposes. Each individual was thermal-scanned upon leaving Customs. The Shark Pit (vendor welcome and time-share area) was just as aggressive as always, but all wore masks. The tour and car rental vendors were also masked. In fact, pretty much everyone who lives and works in Los Cabos was wearing a mask. We saw masks on construction workers out in the hot sun or even on locals walking alone on empty streets.
Hotels and Stores
Temperature checks and sanitizer galore! Our hotels, the restaurants, Walmart, grocery stores, gas stations, car wash, etc., all required temperature to be taken and hands washed or sanitized eve
ry time we entered. Most also had sanitizer pads on the ground to disinfect your shoes before entry. Many tourists wore masks when in enclosed areas and virtually none wore masks at the pool. The hot tub was just as full as always and a rousing volleyball game was enjoyed every day by the social-distancing impaired. At its current level of protection in Cabo San Lucas, hotels are held to a 40% maximum capacity. It was very easy to social distance if you chose to.
Photos: Hotel sanitizing station, gas station, car wash, restaurants, grocery store and the pool activity director.
Photos: Tourists enjoying themselves sans masks, about 50% compliance on the street, temperature check and sanitizers pads for shoes at the mall, empty streets with no cruise ships and hotel occupancy at 40%, temperature check and food served covered at the restaurants
We decided to venture out on the Cabo Rey to support our favorite sunset cruise. Usually a 200-passenger vessel with a live band and Mexican buffet, guests were held to a maximum of 70, music was piped in and meals were served to individual tables. Guests passed through a temperature check and three different sanitizing stations before boarding. There was plenty of room to roam in the warm evening air and we didn't feel compromised for a minute.
Photos: Temperature check before boarding the Cabo Rey, capacity held to 70 passengers spread out on 3 decks, a worthy Cabo sunset from the cruise
The precautions taken by airlines, resorts, service people, etc., especially in Mexico, seem to exceed those I've witnessed in California. Tourism is the main industry in Los Cabos. Every vendor, every store owner, every tourist industry worker is affected. Cabo needs tourist dollars to survive and to that end, is doing all possible to ensure safety regulations are followed.
We will travel back to Cabo in November. We felt safe throughout our travels but whether you will or not is a personal decision. These are a few factors to consider:
Questions to Ask Yourself
1) Do you feel safe in your home town; grocery shopping, eating out at a restaurant, walking in a Mall?
2) Do you care for or interact with someone who might be adversely compromised?
3) Recognizing that the airports, airlines, hotels etc. are doing everything they can to keep clients safe, are you OK with the fact that there might be instances (airport trams, for instance) where you are unable to completely disengage from other passengers?
If so, I can take you to Cabo. This year. For a great price. Let me know, here!