What travelers need to know about getting a covid-19 test in Mexico
UPDATED: March 16th, 2021
If you have your vacation to Mexico already planned or are currently considering you will have to find the answer to one important question.
Picture from: https://www.cancuniairport.com/covid-19/
Where do I get a COVID-19 test in Mexico?
Starting today the U.S. government will require all international airline passengers to prove a negative Covid 19 test before entering the country.
The CDC's order, which confirms earlier Wall Street Journal reports, followed weeks of discussions between federal authorities and the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Most countries now require a negative Covid test upon entry (including the USA), and it is likely that more and more countries will follow suit.
For most travelers, this means they will have to take a PCR test. However, according to new information from the CDC, antigen testing will be acceptable to meet the new U.S. requirement, which goes into effect on January 26th.
While both the CDC and State Department websites recommend Americans reconsider their travel plans to Mexico because of the coronavirus risk, they also describe exactly what the new ruling means for travelers.
What does the new regulation require?
Beginning January 26th, travelers returning to the United States by air must present a negative test for coronavirus at least three days before their return flight and provide proof of the negative result (or that they have recovered from covid-19) before boarding.
The order exempts airline crew, along with military personnel and passengers under 2 years old.
Travelers can either take a PCR test - which is considered the gold standard but costs more and takes several days to process results - or an antigen test, a rapid test that tends to be less accurate but is faster and cheaper.
Under the order, airlines are permitted to accept both PCR and rapid antigen tests.
Now more and more hotels hire outside labs to implement their own testing systems for guests and the Cancun airport is also offering testing in several terminals.
Where to get a COVID test in Tulum, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel?
At this time, popular mail-in coronavirus testing services, such as Pixel and Vault, are not available for international use. Travelers must get tested in person or have a professional come to their lodging.
To encourage travelers to keep their reservations, hotels across the country are promising to help coordinate testing for guests either on-site or at nearby labs and hospitals. Customers can contact the hotel concierge, who should know where to find the most convenient tests from approved testing labs or be able to arrange an on-site test.
Hotels offering COVID testing on-site
Blue Diamond Resorts
Valentin Imperial Maya
Depending on the hotel the test is either free or can be charged at up to USD 250.00
Where can I get tested outside of hotels?
In the following table, you can review the hospitals and laboratories where you can get tested for COVID-19.
Private Clinics offering COVID testing
Get tested at Isla Mujeres
We found a mobile test station on the main Boulevard of Isla Mujeres, right in front of the famous North Beach. Opening hours are from 08:00 AM- 08:00 PM from Monday - Sunday.
Antigen test: USD 38.00 / MXN 690.00
PCR test: USD 119.00 / MXN 2,200.00
Cancun Airport is offering COVID-Tests
The studies will be carried out by Equiver at 14 points in terminals 2, 3 and 4.
The results will be delivered within a maximum of 30 minutes. From this Tuesday, January 26th, the Cancun airport will have modules to carry out PCRs or antigenic tests for the detection of COVID-19.
There will be 10 locations for testing in Terminal 3, which is the busiest, two in Terminal 2 and two more in Terminal 4.
The installation of these modules in the Cancun terminal will allow international travelers to have the study within 3 hours of arrival and receive the results within a maximum of 30 minutes.
Patricia López, managing director of Equiver, the company that is carrying out the tests at the airport stated in an interview with Forbes Mexico, that the goal is to perform 20,000 daily tests.
She also said they are working with the airport to define the protocol that a person must follow in the event of a positive, to go through the necessary health process.
The terminals where the testing is conducted are for outbound flights to countries that require proof, like Canada, Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Holland, France, South Korea and recently the United States, effective January 26.
See all entry restrictions by country here.
According to Equiver, the clinical laboratory results that will be given are fully valid for airlines.
They also give confidence to travelers and promote the revival of tourism. The detection of an infected passenger in its early stages allows the implementation of health safety protocols and passengers can travel with greater confidence.
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How much will my coronavirus test cost?
The price of your coronavirus test depends on where you are and what type of test you get. As in the United States, PCR testing at a lab or hospital will cost between $15 and $150.
Because of the new CDC ruling, many Mexican hotels are enticing their customers by offering to cover all testing for guests.
Kay, founder and CEO, lives in Playa del Carmen, Mexico since 2012 and runs with great passion since 2014 his own company "Kay Tours Mexico", which is specialized in private and luxury excursions.