The beautiful and popular cruise destination of Puerto Vallarta is taking the first steps towards reopening today after months of shutdowns and social distancing. May 18th marks the start of ‘phase 0’ of the State of Jalisco’s plan to recover economically from COVID-19. This phase of the process will last 15 days and will involve the gradual reopening of public spaces like restaurants and bars.
As of today, Mexico has reported just under 50,000 cases of COVID-19, including 767 cases in the State of Jalisco. Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez and his team worked quickly when the virus first began to spread, limiting the number of flights to the region and strict enforcement of the mandatory facemask and social distancing policy over the past two months.
A Return to International Tourism
Tourism is massively important for Jalisco and Puerto Vallarta thanks to gorgeous beaches, tons of shore excursions and activities and a bustling nightlife scene which draws visitors from all over the world. The shutdown has been difficult for local businesses, but many are hopeful that a return to life as usual may be coming sooner rather than later.
“Tourism is a very important industry in our state, and we are looking forward to welcoming back international visitors when the time is right,” said German Ralis, Minister of Tourism of the State of Jalisco. “However, we remain very cautious with our plans for re-opening Jalisco, including popular tourism destinations like Puerto Vallarta, to ensure that the safest and cleanest conditions await guests upon their return.”
As the state begins the recovery process, there are rules and guidelines people must follow. While beaches, public spaces, shopping malls, bars, and nightclubs will remain closed, restaurants and cafes that commit to the state’s sanitation and safety protocols may open but only at 50% capacity.
According to the press release issued by the state:
Cleaning, sanitizing, and disease prevention measures are in place at Puerto Vallarta International Airport, the cruise port, on public transportation, in supermarkets, and in government offices which are providing limited services. Local authorities are working closely with the travel sector to progressively implement updated protocols to support the transition to the next phase of recovery.
The cruise port at Puerto Vallarta sees fewer passengers than others in Mexico, but with an annual passenger count of well over 300,000 cruisers, the lack of ships in port is significant for the local economy. Mexico did allow cruise ships without passengers to dock at Puerto Vallarta for humanitarian reasons after the global industry shutdown began back in March. Regent Seven Seas Splendor was one such ship to do so.