Spring Break 2022: What are the entry, masking requirements at popular beach destinations?

·7 min read

Much has changed since the spring of 2021. More than 63% of Americans are fully vaccinated, new daily COVID-19 cases from the omicron variant are beginning to taper off and travel bans have largely dissipated.

All of this leads some health experts to believe travel will be in a better place by mid-March or April – good news for travelers across the country itching for a spring break retreat.

While travel is possible to most countries, vacationers can still expect to find COVID-related mandates in many beach towns. For those looking to plan a trip this spring, here are some of the most popular beach destinations' entry requirements and COVID-19 restrictions.

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Mexico

San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.

What are the entry requirements? Mexico, home to popular resort towns like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, has been open to U.S. travelers throughout the pandemic. There are no vaccination, testing or quarantine requirements for entry.

What are COVID restrictions like in the country? COVID restrictions vary by state, with each falling under a color-coded "stoplight" system. As of Thursday:

► Ten states (Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Estado de México, Morelos, Yucatán and Mexico City) are designated as "yellow" states, meaning hotels, casinos, restaurants and other venues are operating at reduced capacities.

Nine states (Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Coahuila, Quintana Roo and Nuevo Leon) are "orange." Occupancies are capped, with even fewer people allowed inside orange-state venues than those in yellow states.

► Aguascalientes is currently the only "red" state, meaning hotels are limited to 25% capacity for guests who are working on "critical activities," according to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. You can find an updated map of the country's stoplight system online.

► The remaining states in Mexico are categorized as "green" areas, and all activities are allowed.

Some regions have placed additional COVID-related restrictions on certain venues.

The state of Jalisco, home of Puerto Vallarta, requires proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test to enter bars, clubs, concerts, sporting events and casinos. Indoor public spaces are operating at reduced capacity.

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Jamaica

The beach at Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios.
The beach at Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios.

What are the entry requirements? U.S.travelers can enter with a negative antigen or PCR coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Tourists will also need to apply for a travel authorization within the week leading up to the trip.

What are COVID restrictions like on the island? Travelers who are visiting Jamaica's "resilient corridor" areas, developed for tourism and segments along the northern and southern coasts, are allowed to leave their hotel to visit approved attractions, including select restaurants and malls. Face masks and physical distancing are required in public spaces, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board's website.

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Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas.
Nassau, Bahamas.

What are the entry requirements? Fully vaccinated travelers and those between the ages of 2 and 11 must show a negative rapid antigen or PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to entry. Unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. ages 12 and older must take a negative PCR test taken no more than three days prior to entry. Visitors must also apply for a travel health visa at travel.gov.bs.

What are COVID restrictions like on the island? Masks are required in airport terminals, at security and customs screenings, at baggage claim and in other public spaces. All travelers staying longer than 48 hours, regardless of vaccination status, must take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test after arrival. Unvaccinated travelers 12 and older are also tasked with completing a daily health questionnaire during their stay.

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Dominican Republic

Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

What are the entry requirements? All travelers entering on commercial flights must complete an electronic entry and exit form, also referred to as an e-ticket.

Travelers from the U.S. do not need to test to enter, but airports will perform a random breath test on "a percentage" of passengers, according to the country’s Ministry of Tourism website. Passengers who show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival are exempt from the random testing.

All passengers will have their temperature checked upon arrival, and those who present symptoms or test positive will be sent to isolation.

What are COVID restrictions like on the island? Travelers must show proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the last seven days to enter businesses outside of the hotels and tourism complexes. Visitors over 12 years old are advised to carry their vaccination card if they leave their resort complex.

While hotels can operate at 100% occupancy, vehicles operated by tourist establishments must limit capacity to 90% and excursions and activities at ranches and aquatic parks are capped at 85%.

In public indoor spaces and where social distancing is not possible, people are asked to distance themselves at least 6.5 feet from others and wear a face mask.

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Puerto Rico

Punta Ventana in Puerto Rico. It means "Window Point" as the rock formation resembles a stone window that looks out to a beautiful view of the ocean behind it.
Punta Ventana in Puerto Rico. It means "Window Point" as the rock formation resembles a stone window that looks out to a beautiful view of the ocean behind it.

What are the entry requirements? All visitors must fill out a "Travel Declaration Form" before entry.

Starting Feb. 2, travelers who can present proof of vaccination will no longer need to show a negative test to enter. Unvaccinated travelers will still need to take a negative test no more than 48 hours before departure to avoid a seven-day quarantine. If they are unable to get tested before arrival, they can take a test within their first 48 hours on the island. If the post-arrival test result comes back positive, they must quarantine for 10 days.

Unvaccinated travelers who do not test before or after arrival will be subject to fines and must quarantine for seven days.

What are COVID restrictions like on the island? Starting Feb. 2, restaurants and other businesses that primarily serve food will be able to operate at 75% capacity indoors and at full capacity outdoors. Bars and other venues that primarily serve alcohol will still need to operate at 50% capacity, and large-scale events are capped at 50% capacity.

Customers visiting businesses that serve food or drinks must show proof of vaccination or a negative antigen or PCR test performed by an authorized health provider within the last 48 hours to enter. Masks are required indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

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Florida

Sanibel Island, Florida.
Sanibel Island, Florida.

The state of Florida does not have any masking or entry requirements for U.S. travelers, but some theme parks in Orlando, including Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, require masks to be worn indoors.

Nevada

Tourists wearing masks walk on the Strip in Las Vegas on August 28, 2020.
Tourists wearing masks walk on the Strip in Las Vegas on August 28, 2020.

Clark County – home of Las Vegas – requires masks to be worn in public indoor settings like casinos and restaurants, regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings may be removed when actively eating or drinking.

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Hawaii

Sunset from the Hyatt Regency Resort on Kaanapali Beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Sunset from the Hyatt Regency Resort on Kaanapali Beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

Travelers to Hawaii must quarantine for five days unless they are fully vaccinated or test negative for the virus before arrival.

Travelers may face additional requirements from the county they visit. Maui, for instance, requires proof of full vaccination plus a booster shot or a recent negative coronavirus test to enter certain "high risk" venues like indoor bars and restaurants.

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California

An aerial view shows people on the beach and in the water in Hermosa Beach, California, on July 12, 2020.
An aerial view shows people on the beach and in the water in Hermosa Beach, California, on July 12, 2020.

Everyone two and older must wear a mask in indoor public settings, although some counties in the San Francisco Bay Area allow the mask mandate to be dropped if everyone in the venue is vaccinated.

Other areas have set up additional COVID restrictions. Los Angeles County and San Francisco, for instance, require proof of vaccination to enter indoor restaurants and bars.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Spring break 2022: What are the COVID restrictions in Mexico, Jamaica?

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