Mexico’s costal economy feeds on tourism and the locals are excited to reopen the beaches amidst a 10+ week closure. Similarly to the United States, Mexico’s economy is reopening in phases and each state has their own rules and guidelines. On June 15, 2020 Puerto Vallarta’s hotel and beaches officially reopened. Prior to Monday, police have been patrolling the beaches keeping everyone off the sand and out of the water. Although Puerto Vallarata is open, nearby sister cities north of the airport in Nayarit remain close.
As part of the phased reopening, other essential services are open, but many places are still closed. Bars are not operational and many places require that you eat something while you drink. The restaurants on the malecon are reopening and every is excited to restart operations. Strict guidelines are in place to reduce the transmission of covid. For example, the malecon still remains closed to casual strolls, venders, and street performers.
Rules are in place to keep everyone safe. Everyone must have their temperature checked before entering any business and both shoes and hands must be disinfected. Staff everywhere are wearing masks, and patrons mostly are too. Only when eating and drinking does the mask come off. Beach venders are wearing mask as they return to sell food, drinks, and trinkets. Gone are the days of crowded beaches, as hotels only add a limited number of chairs. If there’s no chair available, there’s no service.
Official Reopening Notice
From the Puerto Vallarta tourism bureau,
The state of Jalisco, including Puerto Vallarta, is proceeding with its COVID-19 recovery plan. As of Monday, June 15, beaches located immediately in front of hotels will be open for guests, and hotels are permitted to operate at 25 percent capacity. Hotel swimming pools, beach clubs, and restaurants are permitted to open, but hotel gyms and spas will remain closed. All hotels are required to follow cleanliness and sanitation protocol established and monitored by local authorities, in addition to protocol required by their parent company or ownership.
Restaurants and cafes that apply established sanitation and safety protocol continue to operate at 50 percent of their capacity. Cleaning, sanitizing, and disease prevention measures remain in place at Puerto Vallarta International Airport, the cruise port, on public transportation, in supermarkets, and in government offices which are providing limited services. The state of Jalisco has achieved the World Travel and Tourism Council’s “Safe Travels” protocol by meeting globally standardized hygiene and sanitation standards at its facilities.
Tours and recreational activities will remain suspended. Bars, nightclubs, and shopping malls, as well as the Malecon, remain closed.
All residents and visitors are encouraged to maintain social distancing practices when outdoors and use a mask when social distancing is not possible. Stores, public roads, and businesses previously deemed non-essential that are linked to supply chains are allowed to operate at 50 percent of capacity. Select businesses that do not generate crowds and adhere to social distancing guidelines will also be permitted to open.
Tour Return, Feels More Normal
Although the official word is that tours and recreational actives remain close, there still appears to be some confusion. On the beach, one can rent jet skis or go on a manta ray snorkel tour. Venders are selling ATV tours and other excursions. Life is slowly returning to normal. Sales and discounts are steep as people are looking to make money again and entice tourists to come back and spend their money.
The US-Mexico land border crossing remains closed, but the airport remains open. If you fly to Mexico tourists are welcome after a temperature screen and health self assessment.