New COVID Mandate. How Are Destinations Responding?
Effective January 26, 2021 - Mandatory COVID test required within 3 days of returning to US. How are destinations responding?
If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States (US) and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).*
*Center for Disease Control and Prevention, January 12, 2021
This mandate goes into effect on January 26, 2021, leaving travelers with a host of urgent questions on how this will impact their current travel plans. Additionally, most countries (and there are many) that are currently accepting American tourists are also requiring a negative COVID test taken anywhere from 72 hours to 5 days prior to arrival. It is heavily suggested to check with each country's tourism board and the CDC for the most updated information. A popular destination that currently is not requiring a negative inbound COVID test, is Mexico. My husband and I traveled to Cabo San Lucas last year in September and November and found the destination's safety protocols extensive, even more than what we have at home. I wrote several blogs on our experiences, (including our air travel) which can be found here.
With travelers now needing a COVID test within 72 hours of departure, Mexico's hotels have stepped up to the challenge. Following is a short list of some of the more popular hotels and hotel brands and their testing protocols:** (Picture by Mexicodental)
Playa Hotels which include Hyatt Resorts (Mexico and Caribbean): With a three-day stay, free Antigen testing on site. Up to 50% off room rate if guest has to stay due to positive test. (Currently through April 30, 2021) Riu Hotels and resorts (Mexico, Jamaica, Punta Cana): Free Antigen testing on site. Free room up to 10 days with positive test. Palace Resorts, including Le Blanc Cabo (Mexico, Jamaica): Free testing on site. Free room for up to 14 days with positive test. All Solmar Resorts (Cabo): $23 per person, booked through Hotel Concierge on arrival. Negotiated rate if required to stay. Melia Hotels (Cabo, Dominican Republic): With a minimum three-day stay, free Antigen testing on site. Free insurance policy that includes coverage for up to 15 days for medical issues, including COVID. Villa Group (Villa del Palmar): $25 onsite testing and a $30 resort credit for each person tested. Discounted rate if required to stay due to positive test. AM Resorts (Mexico, DR, Caribbean, Jamaica): With three-night stay, free onsite testing and free quarantine if necessary up to 14 days.
**Tests and lodgings are included where noted for up to two persons, per room. It is highly recommended that you check the country's tourism website and the CDC website prior to making plans. If you are booking with La Tortuga Travel, I will do the research for you. If you are staying in a condo or private residence, you can get COVID testing at many of the local hospitals. Test prices at this time seem to range from $50 - $75 per person for the Antigen test which is required for reentry to the US. Many offer same-day or 24 hr results. IF you had and recovered from COVID 19, you can show documentation of recovery from your healthcare provider that states you are cleared to travel. Getting the vaccine does not preclude you from being tested prior to entering the US. Will Insurance Help? As always, I highly recommend purchasing travel insurance, especially now with travel changing by the minute. Some international destinations are requiring it for entry. Some providers are now adding COVID as part of their inclusions with Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) Insurance. Insurance must be purchased at time of first deposit and it is vitally important to read ALL the inclusions to see what is covered, what is not covered and the amount of coverage provided. On a bright note, as vaccines become more widely available, the Travel Industry is optimistic about a surge of travel as more and more destinations open and restrictions rescind. To encourage more travel, some airlines have been allowing changes without penalties and hotels have been waiving or delaying change fees and cancellation penalties. I just booked some friends in May 2021, at the Hyatt Ziva in Los Cabos, at a great rate and with a 24-hour cancellation provision. These travel advantages will not last forever and you can expect rates to go up as destinations try to recuperate from this long, long Pandemic. Let's book that get-away you've been waiting for with confidence and peace of mind. I can take you there! Email me here!
Check out these great deals to the Hyatt Ziva in Puerto Vallarta and Hyatt Ziva, Cabo San Lucas!
(Photos by: Hyatt Hotels and Seguras)
Hyatt Ziva, A Playa Hotels Resort
All-Inclusive, early May 2021
3 Nights, Master King, Partial OV
Including tax and transfers
48 Hr no penalty cancellation
Free Room Upgrade on arrival based
Must book by February 3, 2021
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta - $388 per person
Hyatt Ziva Cabo San Lucas - $442 per person