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Current COVID-19 situation in Playa del Carmen and Quintana Roo, Mexico

Updated July 16, 2020

This article addresses the current situation in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, the Riviera Maya, and provides a summary of the facts and figures in Mexico.

The current situation regarding COVID-19 is still critical, as the number of confirmed cases reported daily is increasing.


This week in the state of Quintana Roo, a total of over 2000 active cases were recorded, of which 1019 were new cases this week alone. This is the first week with over 1000 newly confirmed cases. This is apparent as more people are being tested.

Today, 16 July 2020, the total number of confirmed cases is 5626, of which 2642 have already recovered and 765 have died. This brings the number of confirmed active cases in the state of Quintana Roo to 2219.

It should not be overlooked that these figures are only the registered cases and the actual number must be much higher, as not all are reported. These estimated figures are given in different ways and can be 8-15 times higher according to different sources.

It is noticeable that the positive results of the last 6 days average about 76%.

So it seems that mainly sick people with corresponding symptoms are tested.

Perhaps it is therefore normal that there are more cases in the state, as the virus will eventually make its way through the population.

What is truly significant for the authorities are the hospital beds occupied and the number of deaths.

This week, 77 deaths were reported in the state. That is the highest number since the pandemic began. The percentage of deaths from the cases has dropped by about half, although it is unclear whether this will remain so as all these new cases continue to develop.

Currently, hospital beds in Bacalar and Felipe Carrilo Puerto are fully occupied. However, they only have 3 and 6 beds respectively.

In Cancun, the percentage of occupied beds is currently 39%, compared to 27% on July 1. The number of occupied beds remained fairly constant in Cancun for most of June.

Playa del Carmen (Solidaridad) varies at 32%, an increase of 10% since the beginning of July.

Cozumel ended June at 32% and is now 60% full.

In terms of numbers, what does all this mean?

On 28 June, 193 people were in the hospital and last Tuesday there were 363 people hospitalized. This represents an increase of 88 % within 12 days. In addition, 122 deaths have been reported since 1st July (we are tending towards +300 deaths in July, compared to 225 in June).

These people are assumed to have been treated in hospitals at the time of death, so a 50 % increase is remarkable. If this trend continues and we see a further increase by the end of July, the hospital system will be severely affected.

Therefore, the upcoming days will be very interesting as the federal authorities will not release any update on the traffic light system this week due to contradictory case numbers reported by individual states.

In general, Quintana Roo does not seem to be in better shape than in April and May. For example, the situation in the southern part of the state has worsened drastically and since last Monday has been back on the red light system, which has led to the closure of shops, restaurants and entire streets in cities such as Felipe Carillo Puerto and Chetumal, among others.


The current COVID-19 situation is displayed in a color (traffic light) system. The color refers to the increase or decrease of confirmed cases and is updated every Thursday. The respective updates then come into effect on the following Monday.

The map shown above is issued at the federal level, and many states use it as a guideline, but implement their own system, as does the state of Quintana Roo, where the popular resort towns of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Tulum are located.

The state of Quintana Roo is divided into a northern (orange) and southern (red) area and Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras, Tulum and Cancun have been classified with the color orange since 8th of June.

As already mentioned, the southern part was downgraded to red on July 13, as the reproduction number south of Tulum, but especially in Chetumal, increased dramatically. It determines how quickly the virus spreads and how many people are infected.

The colors are associated with restrictions for the population, but especially for the local economy. Depending on the color, certain economic sectors may carry out a certain percentage of their activities, or some may not carry them out at all.

The New Standards - Procedures to avoid the spread

The state authorities are communicating the following measures in their protocol for reopening of the tourist sector in Quintana Roo:

  • healthy distance established at 1.5 meters between each person

  • temperature control at entry points like airport, venues, parks

  • disinfectant mats for shoes at entrances of buildings

  • hygiene stations with water and soap or alcohol-based disinfectant gel

  • all staff at companies has to wear face masks

  • facemasks are mandatory in public

  • digital information is prioritized over printed information

Examples for activities and how they will gradually open

Below we have gathered some of the activities and the restrictions which are applied to the different sectors.

What activities are possible in each phase of the COVID-19 recovery in Playa del Carmen

Click here to see the official Quintana Roo State Government site with activities [Spanish]

The information shall be subject to regular updates according to the epidemiological situation.


Public beaches, public parks, gyms, bars and clubs remain closed. Schools started summer vacation early, restaurants and hotels are allowed to open attending only 30% of their actual capacity.

What activities can be done now?

Snorkeling and diving activities in Cenotes and on the reefs are allowed, but with restrictions as the capacity of transportation is limited to 50 % in some cases 30 %.

Activities you can do right now with Kay Tours Mexico

  • Cenote and Zip-lines

  • Reef Snorkeling in Puerto Morelos

  • Reef Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres

  • Whale Shark Encounter

  • Sian Ka'an Wildlife Encounter

  • ATV's

  • Monkey Reserve Punta Laguna

  • Snorkeling with turtles in Akumal

We are offering exclusive private transportation included in all our tours.

Are the parks Xcaret and Xel-Ha open now?

In the following overview are the days on which most of the Xcaret parks are open. The hotel Xcaret Mexico is already open since the beginning of July with 30 % of its capacity.

Archaeological sites - Chichen Itza, Coba and Tulum

Mexico's museums and archaeological sites are planning a gradual opening in accordance with the risk traffic light system, starting with open spaces and with appropriate conditions such as social distance, face masks, etc.

The National Institute of History and Anthropology (INAH) has drawn up strategies for the reopening of cultural and social activities according to the traffic light system, based on a weekly reassessment in relation to the current risk in each state and municipality.

Mexico in Numbers

Mexico recorded its second day on Tuesday with more than 7,000 confirmed daily cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the health emergency in the country, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 317,635.

Yesterday, Quintana Roo police chief Alberto Capella announced that tourists now also have to wear face masks. Until yesterday, exceptions were made for tourists. In the meantime, however, fines and even prison sentences of up to 36 hours have been imposed.

Tourists also have to wear face masks

It is becoming clear that the authorities are forced to take these measures in order to prevent a relapse and thus the closure of the entire Quintana Roo for tourism.

All those who do not carry out essential activities are being urged to stay at home, but for economic reasons and due to a lack of understanding of the actual risks, this is only partially taken seriously.

On Thursday the 16th of July, Quintana Roo's Governor Carlos Joaquin announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 and will from now on perform his duties from home as much as possible. According to him he is doing fine and is not showing any symptoms as of this moment.

Your and our team's health, safety & peace of mind are our top priority.

Providing a safe and clean environment for our guests and our team is always and always has been a top priority for Living Dreams Mexico and Kay Tours Mexico.

We continue to uphold our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness and want you to feel home and at ease when traveling with us.

We have taken the following actions in response to the dynamic COVID-19 situation in order to allow our guests to worry less and be more flexible in regards to their travel decisions.

Visit our COVID-19 UPDATES site to review the Action Plan and learn more about the steps we are taking to further enhance our existing rigorous protocols.


President & CEO of World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Gloria Guevara is stating: "The plan for Mexico is to open in stages and by regions" ... "the goal is to target domestic travelers first, followed by travelers from the United States and Canada and then from the rest of the world."

Are Cancun hotel resorts open now?

Since June 8th, the hospitality industry at the Mayan Riviera is allowed to begin working. The tourism sector was declared as essential and workers are allowed to go to work while taking the necessary precautions.

Hotels and vacation rentals are allowed to operate 30 % of their occupancy. Transportation companies are allowed to operate their vehicles at 30 % of their capacity.

To have some vacation in your everyday life, join our group "Riviera Maya Lovers".

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Where does this data come from? All data comes from Johns Hopkins University (JHU). JHU gathers COVID-19 data from the World Health Organization, the European Centres for Disease Prevention and Control, and local health organizations.

Confirmed cases The total number of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Deaths The total number of people who have died due to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

New cases The number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 since the previous update.

Five-day moving average The average number of new COVID-19 cases for a given day, the two days before that day and the two days after that day. This trend line is used to show patterns more clearly.

*Please note that the content of this website is not exhaustive and is provided solely to assist visitors to this site at this time of disruption on an "AS IS" basis. All information is subject to change without prior notice and at the sole discretion of those who have contributed to this website.

Given the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 situation and the responses of those who contributed to this website, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in these pages and cannot accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions, nor can you, as a visitor to this website, derive any rights from it.

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