The State Department has issued a Level 3 travel advisory for Mexico, which means people should “reconsider travel” to the country. The advisory was first put in place in July because of COVID-19, according to the department website.
The current advisory includes warnings about an increased risk of crime, including kidnappings, in parts of Mexico, including resort areas.
Specifically, the State Department encourages travelers to “exercise increased caution,” which is a Level 2 advisory, when visiting the Mexican state of Quintana Roo – where Cancun is located – due to a rise in crime.
Mexico was marked with a Level 3 Travel Advisory by the US Department of State because of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. (iStock)
On Thursday, November two suspected drug dealers were killed in a shooting that broke out in the beach area of Hotel Ziva Riviera Cancun in Puerto Morelos, Fox News previously reported.
The U.S. embassy to Mexico released a statement after the shooting, saying that Mexican authorities were responding to the situation.
“We advise U.S. citizens in the area to contact concerned family and/or friends to let them know they are safe,” the embassy said. “Affected U.S. citizens should follow the instructions of local authorities and call 911 if they have an emergency situation.”
The embassy also listed actions that Americans can take while visiting the area, including monitoring local news, following the directions of local officials and avoiding crowds.
The embassy also said American tourists should “be aware of your surroundings” and “review your personal security plans.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also issued a warning to travelers about visiting Mexico because of the pandemic.
The Department of State also includes warnings about an increased risk of crime and kidnappings in Mexico. (iStock)
According to the CDC website, Mexico has a high level of COVID-19 cases. The agency recommends that people make sure they are fully vaccinated before traveling to the country.
According to data from Statista, 21.73 million Americans traveled to Mexico in 2020 amid the pandemic, compared to 39.94 million in 2019.
Cancun saw a drop in visits from international travelers last year. In 2020, the city reported 2.3 million tourists, down from 6 million in 2019.
U.S. News and World Report found that the best times to visit Cancun are between December and April to avoid autumn storms and “sweltering” summers.
According to crowd-sourced database Numbeo, Cancun has experienced a significant increase in crime over the last three years. The city is considered safe for walking alone during the day with risks becoming “moderate” at night.
Meanwhile, about 2 hours and 40 minutes away, is another popular tourist destination in Mexico: Cozumel. According to Numbeo, Cozumel has a low level of crime, though it has also seen crime increasing at a high rate over the last three years.
However, the Department of State advises visitors to Mexico’s Quintana Roo state — where Cancun is located — to “exercise increased caution,” which is a Level 2 advisory. (iStock)
In summary, the State Department says “violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common” in Mexico currently.
The two Mexican states where visitors can “exercise normal precautions” are Campeche and Yucatan, the department said.