USA TODAY US Edition

Mexico admitting visitors within a couple minutes

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MEXICO CITY – Even as other countries institute airport testing, tracing and mandatory isolation, Mexican authoritie­s bragged about the speed with which they let tourists exit the terminal at the resort of Cancun.

Mexico’s National Immigratio­n Institute, the INM, said Wednesday that it took tourists an average of only one to two minutes to enter the country.

“The INM is working to maintain and offer rapid service, with quality and warmth,” the institute said.

During peak hours Tuesday, checkpoint­s at the Cancun airport processed almost 9,000 tourists arriving on dozens of flights.

Mexico has not recovered the level of tourism it had before the pandemic; the overall numbers of tourists arriving at the Cancun airport, one of Mexico’s busiest, was about 1.3 million in January, 54.7% lower than the same month of 2020, when almost 2.3 million passengers landed there.

But Mexico is one of the few nations in Latin America, and the world, to have instituted almost no measures to limit travelers, require mandatory testing or order isolation upon arrival.

Passengers bound for Mexico just have to fill out a form asking about their risk factors for COVID-19 and their contact details.

Internatio­nal arrivals in Cancun took the biggest hit in January, but domestic arrivals of people boarding flights within Mexico to Cancun were down only about 18%.

Flights from the U.S. dried up last spring as the pandemic took hold but returned to near-normal during the holiday season. In December, Quintana Roo, the state that includes Cancun, was averaging 460 air arrivals and departures a day compared with an average of 500 before the pandemic. Tourism accounts for 87% of Quintana Roo’s gross domestic product.

 ?? JONATHAN ROSS/GETTY IMAGES ?? Internatio­nal arrivals in Cancun took the biggest hit in January, dropping nearly 55% but domestic arrivals of people boarding flights within Mexico to Cancun were down only about 18%.
JONATHAN ROSS/GETTY IMAGES Internatio­nal arrivals in Cancun took the biggest hit in January, dropping nearly 55% but domestic arrivals of people boarding flights within Mexico to Cancun were down only about 18%.

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