Authorities in New Mexico have amended their travel restrictions order as of Oct. 30 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Other COVID-19 restrictions remain in place through at least Nov. 13.
Officials require anyone entering from states with a positive test rate higher than 80 per 1,000,000 residents, or a test positivity rate equal or higher than 5 percent on a seven-day rolling average, to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New Mexico. Travelers who can provide proof of a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken 72 hours before arrival are exempt from the quarantine requirement. Travelers can also take a COVID-19 test in the 72 hours following their arrival in New Mexico but must remain in self-quarantine while awaiting results.
As of Oct. 30, the states and territories impacted by the travel restrictions are:
- Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Additionally, all travelers entering New Mexico from an international destination must self-quarantine for 14 days; these travelers will not be exempt from the quarantine period with a COVID-19 negative test. Travelers entering from states with a positive test rate lower than 80 per 1,000,000 residents, or a test positivity rate lower than 5 percent on a seven-day rolling average, are advised to self-quarantine. All New Mexico residents are advised to take a COVID-19 test within 5-7 days of their return from these states.
The quarantine order does not apply to New Mexico residents who visit another state for medical attention or individuals who leave the state for less than 24 hours for parenting responsibilities. Airline employees, federal employees, first responders, public safety workers, healthcare workers, military personnel, and essential workers who need to conduct business in New Mexico are also exempt.
Authorities in New Mexico also continue to impose business restrictions. All retail establishments, as well as food and drink establishments that serve alcohol, must close by 2200 nightly. Businesses that have four incidences of COVID-19 in the workplace must close for two weeks. State museums and historical sites must also close. From Oct. 30, food and drink establishments that want to continue to offer indoor dining at 25-percent capacity must consent to spot testing of employees and must maintain a logbook of customers' names and contact information for at least three weeks for contact tracing purposes. Those that do not follow these procedures can only offer outdoor dining at 75-percent capacity.
Other restrictions remain in place. Places of worship are permitted to operate with up to 40-percent of their maximum capacity. Occupancy levels at lodging venues, such as hotels, are limited to 25-percent capacity, and those that have completed the New Mexico Safe Certified program may operate at 60-percent capacity. Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.
Essential businesses, including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and those in the security, critical manufacturing, transport, and healthcare sectors, have not been subject to closures; however, social distancing and health mandates still apply to such establishments. Residents and visitors in New Mexico are still required to wear protective facemasks whenever in public; authorities are also encouraging residents to stay home unless completing essential tasks.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
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.