COVID-19 hotels to serve travelers during pandemic being set up across Mexico

The State Secretaries of Tourism will define a list of lodging centers destined to concentrate stranded tourists and travelers.

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Although hotels and accommodation services -such as Airbnb- can no longer provide accommodation on a regular basis due to the coronavirus contingency, health authorities and the government will rely on these to serve tourists and stranded travelers.

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The objective is that there be few hotels that support this health emergency and with the sole intention of attending to travelers suspected of being infected with COVID-19 or for those stranded in the country.

This was explained by Ricardo Cortés Alcalá, director of Health Promotion, who pointed out that it will be the state governments that decide which establishments will be used to house foreign citizens.

‘The state secretariats of Tourism are going to be looking at what the occupation is and (reviewing) which hotels will have to close to focus on efforts (to) care for people suspected of COVID-19 and those awaiting their return home’, exposed the official.

Although this review is still in progress – and that is why there is not yet a number of the ‘COVID-19 hotels’ – the federal government has already issued the protocol that they must follow:

  1. In the case of guests for essential economic activities, such as business trips, they may have a maximum occupancy of 15% and proof of the company for which they work will be required, specifying the branch in question.
  2. The State Secretaries of Tourism, in coordination with the national associations of the hotel industry, will define a list of lodging centers destined to concentrate all national and foreign guests with respiratory symptoms (Hotel COVID) and foreign guests without respiratory symptoms.
  3. The lodging centers enabled for the care of the contingency will be preferably those that have medical service and will maintain close communication with the state health services.
  4. Members of the national associations of the hotel industry are authorized to allow, for humanitarian reasons, in a restricted way, foreign citizens to stay in the facilities of the defined centers.
  5. The mobilization of people in said accommodation centers during the contingency will be strictly limited to the rooms in which they are located.
  6. The lodging centers will close their sports and social facilities, such as swimming pools, gyms, spas, restaurants, entertainment centers, business rooms, etc.
  7. Foreign citizens who are in lodging centers will be obliged to communicate with their diplomatic representations to start their procedures back home.
  8. The diplomatic representations and the foreign citizens in the lodging centers will be in charge of covering the payment of the lodging and food.
  9. The lodging centers must apply preferential rates to accommodate foreign visitors in need of isolation for a minimum of 14 days, or until further notice from the health authorities.
  10. In the case of personnel who work in lodging centers, they will be subject to the provisions established by the authorities, such as sanitary filters and strict use of personal protective equipment, which must be provided by the hotels.
  11. The lodging center will be in charge of providing basic supplies for the hygiene of the lodged people: drinking water, soap, shampoo, disposable tissues, toilet paper, towels, and blankets, at least once a week.
  12. People with respiratory symptoms should be preventively isolated in a separate room (except those who require accompaniment). 
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