From Oct. 16, officials in New Mexico will tighten some business, gathering, and travel restrictions in response to an increase of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity.
Under the new restrictions, restaurants and similar establishments that serve alcohol must close by 2200. Occupancy levels at lodging venues, such as hotels, will be reduced to 25-percent capacity and those which have completed the New Mexico Safe Certified program may operate at 60-percent capacity. Mass gatherings of more than five people will be prohibited.
As of Oct. 15, authorities in New Mexico have amended certain travel restrictions imposed as part of the state's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Officials are requiring anyone arriving from states not classified as "low-risk" to quarantine or self isolate for 14 days. Travelers from states classified as "low-risk" - locations with COVID-19 test positivity rates of less than 5 percent or infection rates of fewer than 80 new cases per 1 million inhabitants over a seven-day rolling average - are exempt from the quarantine requirement. From Oct. 16, travelers from high risk states will no longer be exempt from the 14-day quarantine if they receive a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival in New Mexico. As of Oct. 15, the states classified as low-risk are:
- Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington
Travelers from any other US state or territory, or from foreign countries, must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The 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, health care workers, military personnel, and essential workers who need to conduct business in New Mexico are also exempt.
Other restrictions remain in place, restaurants may open for indoor dining at 25-percent capacity, places of worship are permitted to open with up to 40-percent of their maximum capacity. Museums with static displays may open at 25-percent capacity. 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. Recreational facilities and entertainment venues, such as movie theaters and amusement parks, remain closed. Only New Mexico residents are allowed to visit state parks and authorities are requiring park visitors to show proper identification prior to entry. Residents and visitors in New Mexico are still required to wear protective face coverings 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.