Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Officials in Mexico amend restrictions in 16 states through Aug. 16, due to COVID-19. Border closure with the US in place through Aug. 20.
- Alert Begins: 03 Aug 2020 02:36 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 17 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Business and travel disruptions
Authorities in Mexico have amended the federal government's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) risk assessment scale, placing 16 states in level red, and 15 states and Mexico City at level orange, between Aug. 3-16. The four-tier risk assessment scale goes from level red, the highest risk of virus transmission, to level green, the lowest risk; no state is on the yellow or green levels.
Under federal guidelines, states at level red should only allow essential businesses to operate, such as those related to food, security, communications, public utilities, manufacturing, mining, construction, and critical health services. Residents are encouraged to remain inside their homes, except to perform essential tasks, and to wear protective face coverings whenever in public. The following states will be on level red between Aug. 3-16:
- Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Yucatan, and Zacatecas.
At level orange, authorities allow nonessential businesses to open with capacity limits, including:
- Gyms, fitness centers, and personal care services at 50-percent capacity
- Restaurants at 50-percent capacity
- Lodging businesses at 50-percent capacity
- Cinemas, theaters, cultural facilities, and malls at 25-percent capacity, and places of worship at 25-percent capacity
- Public parks at 50-percent capacity
The following states will be on level orange between Aug. 3-16:
- Aguascalientes, Baja California, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Mexico City, Mexico State, Morelos, Oaxaca, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Sonora and Tlaxcala.
Most states follow the national government's guidelines; however, at least eight states have established their own risk assessment scales: Aguascalientes, Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nuevo Leon, Quintana Roo, Tamaulipas, and Yucatan.
Additionally, Mexico maintains a ground border closure with the US for all nonessential ground travel, through at least Aug. 20, under a mutual agreement between the two countries. The restrictions do not affect cargo transport between the two countries. Recreational boat travel also remains banned. Officials in Mexico continue to advise residents to avoid all international travel.
Authorities could expand or extend their preventative measures and movement restrictions over the coming days and weeks. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by authorities in Mexico are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national and regional health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.