Critical Alert

Authorities in New Mexico, US, tighten COVID-19-related business restrictions from Oct. 23. Travel restrictions also amended.


From Oct. 23, authorities in New Mexico will tighten some business restrictions due to an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity.

Under the new 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 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.

Authorities in New Mexico also 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" are exempt from the quarantine requirement. Travelers from high-risk states are no longer 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. 22, the states classified as low-risk are:

  • California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont

Travelers from any other US state or territory, or from foreign countries, must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. As of Oct. 22, such travelers are no longer exempt from this requirement if they undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test and receive negative results. 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, 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, and 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. Recreational facilities and entertainment venues, such as movie theaters and amusement parks, remain closed. Only New Mexico residents are allowed to visit state parks; authorities are requiring park visitors to show proper identification prior to entry. 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.


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