Do You Need a Covid Test to Cross Tijuana Border?
Fri, 20 May 2022 10:54:03 -0700Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico has remained largely open to international travel, especially to U.S. citizens. Because the COVID-19 restrictions have been significantly more lax in Mexico, many American citizens have taken opportunities to escape to their southern neighbor for fun and relaxation. However, because rules and regulations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly changing, many people wonder if they need a COVID test to cross the Tijuana border. Read on to discover everything you need to know about traveling to and returning from Mexico.
U.S. Citizens Crossing into Mexico
If you’re crossing into Mexico via the Tijuana border, you will not need a COVID test or proof of vaccination status, although the CDC does recommend vaccination before any travel. A health screening will likely be required at ports of entry including filling out a health declaration form and temperature checks. Although the Mexican government does not require U.S. citizens to quarantine, it is encouraged that visitors continue following social distancing and other measures to curb the spread of the virus. Additionally, individual states may have different regulations, so travelers should contact the resort or hotel they will be staying at to inquire about local requirements.
You will need a migration form (FMM) that you can obtain online and fill out ahead of time. If you’re driving you will need a temporary vehicle import permit and Mexican car insurance. It’s important to remember that even children and babies must have a U.S. passport to travel into Mexico with a few exceptions, namely when traveling by sea, land, or with some type of group, organization, or team. In these cases, children can enter with their birth certificate or other proof of citizenship.
Additionally, check into using the Cross Border Xpress (CBX) pedestrian bridge for added convenience.
U.S. Citizens Returning to the United States
If you’re returning to the U.S. via the Tijuana border on land, you will need proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status in addition to the regularly required border entry documentation. If you’re returning to the U.S. by air, you will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test. Although the Federal government does not require returning U.S. citizens to quarantine, individual states may have different requirements so travelers should familiarize themselves with local regulations before travel.
Regularly required documentation includes a passport or U.S. passport card, Enhanced Driver’s License, or a Trusted Traveler Program card. Trusted Traveler Programs include NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST, and Global Entry. It’s important to remember that even children and babies must have a U.S. passport to return to the U.S. with a few exceptions, namely when traveling by sea, land, or with some type of group, organization, or team. In these cases, children can enter with their birth certificate or other proof of citizenship.
There are many approved locations for COVID-19 testing in Mexico to make returning to the U.S. by air easier. In fact, many hotels and resorts have on-site testing available.
National COVID-19 Stoplight System
To help Mexican residents and international travelers keep abreast of the changing COVID-19 situation, Mexico has employed the “stoplight” system so people will know what is allowed at that time. Based on the current COVID-19 trends, the system will display green, yellow, orange, or red areas on maps. With green being completely open and red being the most restrictive.
As always, planning ahead for travel is important and even more so during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As your travel time gets closer, be sure to have testing, vaccination status, and paperwork in order to make border crossing as easy as possible!