What it’s like to travel to Los Cabos right now – and everything you need to know

DEPARTING

We arrived to Los Cabos on Sunday, June 21 from Los Angeles and returned June 30, 2020, so this is current as of June 30. It felt a little bit surreal at LAX as there were not a lot of people there and most of the shops were closed giving it a deserted feel. The purpose of this visit to Los Cabos was a combination of work/vacation = workcation.

If you are taking a Lyft or Uber to the airport, you now have to acknowledge and agree to new COVID-19 terms before confirming your ride. The drivers have rules as well. We took Lyft and here are their rules for riders:

      • You must stay home or not solicit a ride if you have or think you may have any Covid-19 symptoms.
      • Wear a face covering
      • Keep the car, and your hands clean
      • Sit in the back seat (only)
      • Keep the car windows open
  • We arrived to LAX via Lyft to Alaska Airlines terminal on a Sunday morning and checked in via kiosk. There were not a lot of people in the airport. We printed our luggage tags, labeled them and proceeded to drop the bags.
  • Alaska changed our seats so that we were sitting together but still left the middle seats open or blocked out for each row.
  • Upon boarding, they view your passport (touchless) and scan your ticket.
  • At the gate, we observed some fishermen and a mix of people boarding the flight including possible second home owners.
  • We boarded in the front of the aircraft (first class boards first, then they call rows 20 and up to board next).
  • Every row (except 2 rows) were occupied with a window and aisle passenger.
  • Alaska crew members announce what health and safety measures they’ve taken in the aircraft.
  • Upon arrival to Los Cabos, we were given a one-sheet health questionnaire , while exiting the aircraft. (You will still have to fill out the standard immigration forms which you can do while en route.)

  • The non-stop flight from Los Angeles, LAX to Los Cabos, SJD took just over two hours.
  • We arrived into Los Cabos via Terminal 1 and were shuttled to Terminal 2, to the international terminal. (Terminal 2 is scheduled to reopen in July.) But for now, all international flights arrive to Terminal 1. *UPDATE: international flights now arrive to Terminal 2
  • The shuttle practices social distancing by blocking off the seat next to it. There were many shuttles waiting to take passengers from our flight to Terminal 2. We were on the first shuttle so there was no wait.
  • As soon as you enter the airport, you need to step aside and fill out your one-page health questionnaire. Once they verify you have filled it out, you can proceed to the immigration lines.
  • Right after going through immigration, when you walk toward baggage claim, there is a station set up where an airport representative checks the answers on your health form, while simultaneously a thermographic imaging camera (sensor) is positioned on the right-hand side monitoring passengers. They do not approach you with a thermal scanner or point anything at your face or head to take your temperature individually.
  • You may not pass this area without presenting your health form and having it checked off. If excess heat (or a fever) is detected from the sensor, you will be directed to a secondary location for more interview questions. If a person is detected as having elevated temperature at the airport, they will be asked to answer more questions about their recent travels, health, etc. If it’s determined that they are high risk or have COVID-like symptoms, airport authority will recommend they quarantine in their hotel room. If they feel really sick, a hotel doctor can come to the room or they can choose to go to the hospital. They can also request a COVIDtest which should be ready with results within a day.
  • What if you feel sick in destination? You can find Los Cabos FAQ resources here in case you need medical attention.
  • Our health questionnaires were checked off and you are allowed to proceed. They now collect the forms.
  • You then grab your baggage and go toward customs. I didn’t see social distance markers here, but everyone did a good job of trying to keep a distance.
  • We proceeded outside to our driver at station 9 and the driver announced that he had just washed his hands and that our transportation was cleaned. Our luggage was loaded into the vehicle, we entered the vehicle and drove to the hotel. (Hotel description of health and safety protocols coming in another post).

RETURNING

  • At the time of our departure, June 30, we departed out of Terminal 1 (otherwise known as the domestic terminal).
  • First, you will be asked to go to a station and fill out a blank health form – it is the same one you filled out when you first arrived to the airport.
  • Then we proceed to get in line (at Alaska) and approached the counter.
  • There is a ‘Health Agreement’ sign posted at the airline counter that you must acknowledge before presenting your passport(s).

  • Check in is the same, however at that time, again, we were given seats together as we were a family traveling together. (All three kids were seated together initially – see picture below but since my row was empty, we spread out two in each row). They weigh your bags as normal, label them and put them on the conveyer belt.
  • You then proceed to the Boarding Pass line which is lined with social distancing markers. Everyone did a good job with staying at a distance. They have hand sanitizer stations everywhere and here they encourage you to use it.
  • Here you present your health form that you filled out earlier and an airport personnel stamps it with a Covid-19 stamp. At the same time, a stationary thermal imaging camera senses body heat (same set up as arrival).
  • You also have to answer a few verbal questions as they verify your passport at this stage.
  • In the airport, they have hand sanitizing stations located throughout and also loop health and safety videos on the monitors by your gate to inform you of their health and safety efforts.
  • Every airport employee was wearing a face covering / protective mask.
  • Most of the stores in the airport (Terminal 1) were closed, with the exception of Subway and a gift shop right near our gate and they only allowed six people in the store at a time. 

NOTES / RECOMMENDATIONS

  • I would recommend each passenger bring their own pen so they can use their own when filling out the health questionnaire. (I had four pens for our family of four passengers.)
  • It was just my three kids (ages 17, 15 and 12) and myself traveling and I was under the impression from reading Alaska’s policy on traveling with kids that we needed consent from the other parent in order to travel to and from Mexico, however even after we filled out the form for each kid and had it notarized, it was never requested. Also for kids 12 and younger, TSA has developed modified screening procedures for children who appear to be 12 years old and younger. For children 13 years and older, TSA’s standard screening procedures apply.
  • My son’s passport expires July 31, 2020 (we returned June 30) and at first, I tried to rush a renewal for his passport as in the past, Mexico’s rules were that a passport had to be valid six months or longer at the time of return. However, after speaking to a credited passport agency, the stated that the government has been lenient with passports and their expiration dates due to Covid-19. BTW, they are not accepting passport renewals for minors at this time.
  • Although the destination of Los Cabos is still in its reopening phases, most activities, with the exception of a few, are still on hold because of Covid-19. However, Cabo Adventures was operating the Camel Safari and Outdoor Adventure (7 zip lines) in which we participated. At the activity site, Cabo Adventures displays the Safe Travels badge to show they are following and meeting all health and safety protocols.
  • At the time of this publishing (July 2, 2020) there are 70 hotels open in the destination.
  • When we returned to Los Angeles (LAX), we did not have to self-quarantine, but we did schedule a no-cost, drive-through Covid-19 test the day after we returned and got the results back the following day – and happy to report they were all negative.

If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer any of them to the best of my experience. We had a relaxing and very safe visit to Los Cabos and I highly recommend it if you feel ready to travel. If you forget your masks, the airport or airline will provide them for you – or they also sell them in the gift stores at the airport.

The last thing I wanted to mention is that on June 16, 2020, the United States and Mexico governments agreed to extend border closures for nonessential land traffic. These measures will be in place until Oct 21, 2020 and demonstrate the commitment of both countries to protect people on both sides of the border as we continue to fight COVID-19. This action does not apply to air, rail, or sea travel at this time and does not prevent U.S. citizens from returning home.

If you want to learn more about what health and safety measures the destination of Los Cabos has implemented, you can visit Los Cabos Tourism Board’s Health & Safety section here: https://www.visitloscabos.travel/industry/health-safety-standards/

And/or review the ‘Traveling to Los Cabos Overview’ here:

Traveling_toLosCabos_Overview_14_1_1__cdafdd09-ab48-4560-a6d3-e9d624bdc9e4

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