Covid 19 Traveling to the USA- Part 3

Well here we are a year later and even though we are rolling out a vaccine for the older people, the traveling restrictions remain tighter than ever! Effective January 26, the USA decided that all incoming travelers from other countries need to present a negative covid 19 test no more than 72 hours before your flight. Meanwhile Canada ordered all their citizens back by mid February as Canada was no longer allowing flights from Mexico or the Caribbean to return to their country! If you did not leave you could not return until May 2021 or possibly longer if they change their rules again.

Following the new protocol I immediately scheduled my covid test a Puerto Vallarta clinic called Sanmare. I was worried about getting an appointment with the new requirement, however soon every clinic, hospital, and some pharmacies stepped in and started to offer the tests. Then even the hotels made arrangements for their departing guests! It was great to see how the medical community was so responsive and accordingly the original steep prices came down very quickly to match each other. I believe many of hotels even did it for free!

I had scheduled the rapid test (required by USA, however Canada requires the more complete PCR test), the morning of 72 hours prior to my flight date and hour. A day before my scheduled departure the airline canceled the flight and I was rescheduled to leave the same date, however in the afternoon. Now my test was actually more than the exact 72 hours before, so I was nervous about it being accepted. Luckily it was as they counted only the days, not the exact hours of test to departure time. I would also like to point out that the tests are being done right at the airport now in a tent just outside the departure terminal building, so those of you who have forgotten or could not get it done, there is that option for only 450 pesos. Actually one of the cheapest prices that I found in Puerto Vallarta.

At the check-in area before you can even get to the counter, the airlines have staff setup tables where the test is verified. Several people in front of me had it only on their phones, which I suggest you do not do. It causes delays while they try to read your small screen. Then you are required to complete another health certification form that is supposedly going to be asked for upon arrival in the USA. After check-in I made my way upstairs and there are numerous standing desks starting halfway down towards security. There you have to complete the Mexico health questionnaire. Once you clear security, I have to wonder why everyone is till wearing masks because everyone in the international concourse had been tested? Nobody ever collected the Mexican health questionnaire, so I am not sure of its purpose?

Upon arrival in DFW, nobody checked temperatures, nobody asked for the USA health questionnaire and of course we are lined up without social distancing in the passport control lines. Then once again the same non social distanced line to clear customs and get back out of the international terminal for your next flight or home if you lived in the DFW area.

Once again, protocols in place, however no enforcement, no follow thru. Why do they bother?

Heading back to Denver in May 2021, so I will update you again!


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