US State Department Issues Level 2 Travel Advisory for Mexico
On September 25th, the Federal and state authorities in Mexico disarmed the city of Acapulco's entire police force as they investigate possible ties to drug gangs, according to the US Embassy in Mexico.
This news supports the action taken by the US State Department on August 22, 2018, when it elevated its Travel Advisory status to Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, for all of Mexico.
The State Department Advisory for Mexico said ‘State Department employees are prohibited from intercity travel after dark in many areas because of violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, which is widespread.’
Additionally, this State Department says Americans should not travel to certain areas in Mexico and has issued Level 4, Do Not Travel Advisories for:
- Tamaulipas state
- Sinaloa state
- Michoacán state
Despite the State Department’s travel advisories, Mexico's tourism continues unabated.
In 2017, more than 35 million Americans traveled to Mexico, up from 20 million five years ago.
The good news from the State Department is that there are still plenty of areas that it considers safe for tourists.
There are no U.S. government restrictions for travel in Baja California Sur, which includes the tourist areas of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz.
Moreover, the US State Department suggests visitors to Mexico should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive US Embassy security updates.
From an infectious disease perspective, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had not issued a Travel Health Alert for Mexico as of September 7, 2018.
But, on December 5, 2017, the CDC said visitors to Mexico should be up to date on routine vaccinations, such as the MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella, polio, and the yearly flu vaccination.
Additionally, the CDC recommends the hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines for most travelers.
Since the Zika virus is an ongoing risk in Mexico, the CDC says pregnant women should not travel to Mexico because the Zika virus has been found to cause serious birth defects.
The CDC says USA citizens should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
USA citizens can easily schedule a pre-trip travel vaccination review from local pharmacies at Vax-Before-Travel.