San Miguel de Allende enters Phase 0 of reactivation
On June 1, San Miguel de Allende entered Phase 0 of its COVID-19 Reactivation plan, which comprises activation of the local economy for residents.
Access to San Miguel de Allende has been closed since March to non-residents, with city police filtering all its entrances. San Miguel de Allende’s mayor, Luis Alberto Villarreal García, said in an official release that San Miguel is not open to tourism.
During this initial phase of the plan, San Miguel will see most of the business infrastructure that affects residents reopen, including restaurants, shopping centers, markets, public transportation, offices, and more. For residents only, restaurants will reopen at 50 percent capacity, and markets at 30 percent capacity.
Hotels, bars, cantinas, clubs, and public or hotel pools will not reopen yet. All residents are asked to wear masks, practice social distancing, and apply extensive hygiene practices.
During this current initial phase, businesses are asked to obtain their “Health First” certification, which the city launched on May 25. The certification accredits compliance with sanitary protocols for reopening.
Hotels (which may start reopening as Phase 1), golf courses, activity centers, and cultural spaces (which may open on Phase 3) must apply for the certificate.
Businesses are required to implement international-grade sanitation protocols, including shoe cleaning, a decrease in interior foot traffic, setup of dispensers of antibacterial sanitizer containing 70 percent alcohol, provision of face masks for people without them, and hourly disinfecting of public spaces. At no point can any group gather inside or outside public spaces.
Reinforcing the mayor’s stance, San Miguel de Allende’s City Council has passed an ordinance stating that guest properties cannot push bookings on digital platforms until the city enters Phase 3.
Businesses will have to complete a series of paperwork and training sessions and have local health and safety officials evaluate each location for certification as an establishment that puts the health and safety of its patrons first.
Mexican Caribbean first destination in Americas to receive safe travels stamp
As Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean prepare to reopen for tourists after suffering an estimated US$1 billion in lost revenue, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has given the destination its safety stamp of approval.
The WTTC has announced that the Mexican Caribbean will be the first destination in the Americas to receive a newly created “Safe Travels” global safety and hygiene certification, backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and more than 200 CEOs in the tourism sector.
The region joins cities in Saudi Arabia, Portugal, and Spain that have adopted globally standardized protocols recognized by the WTTC, with the hope that the certification will increase travelers’ confidence in the approved destinations.
The stamp will be offered to hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, shops, transportation services, and airports that adopt the WTTC’s guidelines.
Viking announces September 1, 2020, return date for cruises
Viking has joined other cruise lines by extending its suspension on river and ocean cruise operations through August 31, with sailings resuming again from September 1, 2020.
Even though many countries are gradually coming out of lockdown, travel restrictions, together with cruise port closures around the world, remain an issue. The situations will be evaluated continuously to rule out any further delay on when cruise ships will return to service.
Guests booked on sailings within the extended window will be compensated with a 125 percent Future Cruise Credit and will be able to take advantage of the added value by booking a longer voyage in the future.
The credit can be used on sailings within the next 25 months for ocean and river offerings. Guests can choose to receive a full refund of their cruise fare if they no longer wish to go ahead with their cruise vacation.
MGM Resorts reopens three Las Vegas properties
MGM Resorts reopened three of its Las Vegas properties, MGM Grand Las Vegas, New York-New York, and the Bellagio, on June 4, the first MGM reopenings in the city since properties on the strip were shut down because of COVID-19.
Amenities will initially be limited at all three locations and more will reopen as demand builds throughout the city, MGM said.
How Britain’s 14-day tourist quarantine will work
The British Home Secretary announced new public health measures for all U.K. arrivals at borders to guard against a second wave of coronavirus infections. They include 14 days’ self-isolation for anyone entering the U.K., with a short list of exemptions. The policy took effect June 8 and is subject to review every three weeks thereafter.
Outbound Britons are also subject to the same quarantine when they return from their travels.
Words of the wise and well-traveled
“The easier it is to do something, the harder it is to change the way you do it.”—Steve Wozniak
Deal of the Week
Time for a getaway with Iberostar
Iberostar’s purpose is to take care of guests, staff, and the environment through their newest philosophy, “How We Care.” This initiative consists of more than 300 actions for guest rooms, restaurants, pools, and common areas that provide an even more personalized and secure vacation experience.
To showcase “How We Care,” Iberostar is offering a special discount of up to 60 percent and the flexibility to modify your booking at any time at no extra charge. Book before June 30 for travel through October 31, 2021, and take advantage of the kids’ stay for free promotion in all Iberostar family hotels globally and up to 60 percent discount in select hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Judy Newell, an international travel consultant since 1971, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit your interests, physical abilities, and budget. Please contact Judy for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel. Cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949-300-3682; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources: Travel Agent Central, Mexico News Daily, Cruise Hive, Travel Market Report, MGM Resorts, Insider Travel Report, Iberostar