For the more experienced Baja traveler a road trip in this peninsula shows very few surprises as time almost seems to stop in Baja.

Ranches and ranchers are the same all along, the roads are either bad or decent to drive, the beaches are alway beautiful, and fishing, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling or scuba diving are always great.

This year was very different, even the seasoned traveler found things he or she couldn’t answer.

Border crossing to Mexico changed policies overnight, and while these changes didn’t really alter the old way, just added some things to consider when crossing to Mexico from the USA.

So in this article I’m going to focus on these changes, those details that make people worry about a road trip in Baja in 2021 after or even during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Read about how Canadians snowbirds are making their way south here

Some of the most common questions asked by travellers are:

Can you travel to Mexico during the pandemic?

Yes, Mexico did not close borders, but some states like Tamaulipas have increased screening for land travelers crossing the border. These protocols include but are not limited to:

  • Travelers should not have any symptoms of sickness
  • Travelers must wear face cover at all times
  • No more than two people can travel in the same vehicle
  • Traveling must be essential, work or doctor appointments are considered essential and must show written proof of it. Other essential reasons include having to make payments or paperwork in Mexico, educational activities and being part of the Programa Paisano
  • No children or elderly should be present in the vehicle.

These restrictions are not the same in every crossing point and are particular to the state of Tamaulipas. This doesn’t mean other states won’t apply protocols like these in their territories.

Be updated and follow the protocols to smooth your crossing.

Some airlines and ports of entry may request to fill this questionnaire from the Mexican Government

Is the US government stopping travellers from crossing the US/Mexico border?

No, The USA government has limited yet not prohibited crossing the border into Mexico. 

According to the US Embassy website, some of the travel restrictions are:

  • The United States will temporarily limit inbound land border crossings from Canada and Mexico to “essential travel”.
  • This action does not prevent U.S. citizens from returning home.
  • These restrictions are temporary and went into effect on March 21, 2020. They will remain in effect through 11:59 pm on December 21, 2020.  This decision has been coordinated with the Governments of Mexico and Canada.
  • The following categories do not fall within the definition of “essential travel:”
  • Individuals traveling for tourism purposes, such as sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events in the United States.

The government of the USA strongly recommends NOT to travel to Mexico 

Who is considered an “essential” traveler?

  • Citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States.
  • Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States).
  • Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions.
  • Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada or Mexico in furtherance of such work).
  • Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies).
  • Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada and Mexico).
  • Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel.
  • Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.

The government of the USA strongly recommends NOT to travel to Mexico 


Is the Mexican government stopping American travellers from entering Mexico?

No, the Mexican government is not stopping travelers across the US/Mexico border, yet it strongly recommended to limit travel to only essential travel.

The criteria is listed above.

Can I drive my car from The US to Mexico?

Yes, you can drive your car across the US/Mexico border following the protocol and by getting your TIP (Temporary Import Permit) and Mexican car insurance in time and form. 

Get a quote on a Mexican Car Insurance here

If you don’t know what are the requirements to temporarily import your car into Mexico, read this article here where we explain what you need.


Can I drive my car from Canada to Mexico across the USA?

There is a way and we talk about it here

Canada is restricting traveling to only essential travelers, unlike Mexico or the US, Canada is enforcing this more strictly. Non essential travellers have reported issues crossing the US/Canada border

Follow up the Canada Travel advisory here at the Government of Canada website 

Do you need a COVID19 test before traveling to Mexico?

No, you don’t need to get a COVID19 test before you travel, at least not yet.

You may need to fill this questionnaire up

Some countries and airlines are requesting it before boarding a plane into some countries.

Countries that are requesting a COVID 19 free certificate are listed in this article, and include but not limited to:

  • Austria 
  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany

Some countries do not request for a COVID19 free certificate but do ask for a health-self declaration, some of this countries are:

  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Switzerland

More on that soon

Can I drive my car across the Mexican border during COVID19?

Yes, although traveling is limited to essential travel, most travelers crossing the border since October 2020 and until the publishing of this article December 2020, have reported no problem related to travel restrictions due to COVID19 other than long waits. 

Can you get travel insurance that covers COVID19?

Yes, you can get an insurance that covers your trip and any health emergency related to COVID19, many companies offer some options to this, you can read more about this by clicking here, or here to compare different companies and policies.

Disclaimer: The link below is an affiliate link, this will take you to where you can compare and buy the right travel insurance for you, you get a great deal and we get a commission that won’t affect the quote you get from any of the insurance companies there listed

Things to know about traveling to Mexico in 2021 1Things to know about traveling to Mexico in 2021 2
Things to know about traveling to Mexico in 2021 3Things to know about traveling to Mexico in 2021 4

Are any safety guidelines for travelers in Mexico?

Yes, these guidelines are basically the same for any other country in the world and are listed above and in this link to the US Embassy website

Is it easier to drive to Mexico instead of flying?

No, actually flying into Mexico is the easiest way you can get into Mexico, but if you are driving you can enter Mexico by following the protocols listed above. Expect long lines, health check points and long waiting times.

Are hospitals in Mexico overwhelmed by COVID19 cases?

No, but that is not necessarily good.

Forbes Magazine reports in this article that the data on the number of cases in Mexico is worrying, the information shows a poor efficacy of Mexican hospitals against the pandemic. 

New cases are reported every day and while the president of Mexico reports a very optimistic version of the data, the numbers tell a different story.

The ICUs may not be overwhelmed but their performance seems poor in the efforts for controlling and treating the disease. 

The lack of qualified personnel and equipment, and the high rate of obesity and diabetes amongst other health conditions, puts Mexico in the top 5 countries with the highest rate of mortality due to COVID19

It is recommended that if you belong to any of the high risk populations DO NOT travel to Mexico. We talk more about it in this article

Is Mexico hiding the real number of cases?

No, Mexico is not hiding the number of COVID cases in the country, but the method used to report is very inaccurate according to Forbes Magazine

  • Time delay of days and even weeks can be expected when reading reports, this is, you may be looking at a December report, but the cases reported there could be, and often are, cases from past weeks, just updated then, the number could be much higher.
  • Another reason why the method used in Mexico to report cases is due to the criteria applied, like a very low number of tests per capita, the citizens of Mexico lack trust in a system fractured by decades of corruption so many of the severe cases take too long to seek for medical assistance.

While Mexico is not hiding the number of cases, the optimistic approach of Mexican president should be taken with a pinch of salt. Mexico is not able to take care of your COVID19 emergency.

What do I do if I tested positive for COVID19 while in Mexico?

As stated above, if you belong to the groups classed as high risk groups, don’t travel to Mexico or anywhere else for now. If you test positive while in Mexico, seek immediate medical assistance, contact your embassy,  if possible try your best to get back to the US and continue your treatment there.

These and so many other questions related to this are all over social media and travel forums on the web, and the answer is temporary at best, and often out of date; the best way is to stay updated by constantly checking in to official government websites of both countries.

Important links

Things to know about traveling to Mexico in 2021 3Things to know about traveling to Mexico in 2021 4
Things to know about traveling to Mexico in 2021 7Things to know about traveling to Mexico in 2021 8

Disclaimer: The links here are affiliate links, these will take you to websites where you can compare and buy the right  insurance for you, you get a great deal and we get a commission that won’t affect the quote you get from any of the insurance companies there listed.