Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. To understand how this may impact cover under your policy, please go to our FAQs and select your country of residence.
For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.
There are no entry restrictions for travel to Mexico, however travelers presenting symptoms upon arrival at the airport should ask for the International Health Team (Sanidad Internacional).
Stay up to date with local news and media, and always follow the advice of local authorities. Check your government's travel advice.
Before you buy a travel insurance policy, check your government travel warnings and health advice – there may be no travel insurance cover for locations with a government travel ban or health advice against travel.
Travel to Mexico does not come without risk and we encourage you to take precautions to ensure your safety. The US State Department lists Mexico as a Level 3 risk for the country overall, advising “exercise increased caution”. Some parts of Mexico have Level 4 advisories, including Colima state, Guerrero state, Michoacán state and Sinaloa state due to crime, as well as Tamaulipas state due to crime and kidnapping.
Of the Mexican states listed as Level 4 due to crime and/or kidnapping, only one of them (Tamaulipas) is on the US border. Some other border states (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Sonora) are at a Level 3.
Violence is largely confined to a few areas thanks to the efforts of local authorities, with only the occasional incident occurring near tourist spots. If you participate in the drug trade, the risk to your safety increases considerably.
US authorities have closed the major border control point of San Ysidro between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, United States, turning away all vehicles and pedestrians. Thousands of migrants and refugees have been making their way from Central America towards the US to seek asylum from poverty, political persecution and violence only to be met with tear gas launched by US authorities.
San Ysidro is one of the busiest border crossings with nearly 100,000 people and vehicles heading north each day from Mexico.
Further demonstrations are also planned for both sides of the border in days to come.
Please check with authorities for more information, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities will result in you not being covered by travel insurance.
Hurricane Willa gained strength off Mexico's Pacific coast on Sunday and has become a major Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185kph). The United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) has reported that Will could reach Category 4 status (sustained wind speed between 130-156 mph (209-251kph)) before making an estimated landfall on Tuesday.
Tropical Storm Vicente is also tracking from the south towards the same region, however, meteorologists have reported that Willa is likely to prevent Vicente from reaching hurricane status. Both systems will bring torrential rain, damaging winds, landslides, storm surges, and flooding.
A hurricane watch has been posted for between San Blas and Mazatlan, however, the systems could also impact popular spots such as Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita, with Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo to experience strong winds from Hurricane Willa. Weather reports indicate that Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states will experience significant rainfall which could lead to flash flooding and landslides.
Travelers are advised to listen to local news, heed all warnings and directives from local authorities.
The US State Department has issued a travel warning after receiving information about a security threat in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. While there is no indication that American tourists are being specifically targeted, the agency urges travelers to exercise increased caution due to violent crime, as well as a recent explosion on a tourist ferry. They suggest the following actions:
The Canadian State Department has also issued an alert urging Canadian citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when traveling in Mexico.
NOTE: Two days later on 9th March the State Department downgraded the alert and also narrowed the area of concern to five neighborhoods bordered by Avenida Benito Juarez, 50 Avenida Sur (Highway 307), and Calle 34 Norte. The neighborhoods are: Centro, Calica, Gonzalo Guerrero, Quintas del Carmen, and the Villas del Carmen neighborhoods of Playa del Carmen.
This area encompasses several popular tourist attractions including; the 3D Museum of Wonders, Riviera Grand Casino, The Beach Aquarium, The Grand Hyatt (along with several other hotels), and Walmart.
The ferries to Cozumel leave from a terminal just one block south of this area.
The absolutely best way to survive a hurricane is to avoid one. Get away from it, but if you make the decision to leave make that decision early. Don't leave it until the last minute because you may find yourself caught without proper shelter.
If you decide to stay and "ride it out", it's advisable to get to an authorized shelter. The locations of these will be broadcast, or locals will know where they are. If there is no shelter, prepare to "shelter in place" in an internal room without windows.
Once a "storm watch" has been issued, make sure you are prepared in the event that the watch becomes a "warning."
During the storm
After the storm
What to do when you’re told a tsunami is coming - essential safety tips.
There may be cover for you if you purchased your policy prior to the storm or hurricane being declared, or before the earthquake or tsunami happened. Check your policy or call our customer assistance teams if you are unsure.
Coverage may vary depending on your place of residence and the level of cover you have purchased. Go to our help desk and enter your country of residence then search for "natural disaster" to get an explanation of coverage relevant to you. Still confused, or have questions? Check with our customer assistance teams.
Are you a World Nomads customer and need assistance? Please contact the emergency contact telephone number.
So we can best assist you, please be ready with the following:
Emergency out-patient treatment
Medical transportation to bring you home
Bear in mind that some policies will not cover you if you are traveling to a county your government has warned you not to visit.
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Michael Howard shares his advice on extra travel safety and health precautions you should take during an epidemic or pandemic.