oth from the shore, their work buoyed by high tide at dawn Monday that resulted in the vessels partial refloating. Specialized dredgers dug out

Author : balmu2
Publish Date : 2021-03-29 17:01:48


oth from the shore, their work buoyed by high tide at dawn Monday that resulted in the vessels partial refloating. Specialized dredgers dug out

oth from the shore, their work buoyed by high tide at dawn Monday that resulted in the vessel's partial refloating. Specialized dredgers dug out

 

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Do you need a COVID test to fly?
Travelers don't need a COVID-19 test to fly to Mexico, but they can't board a flight back to the United States from the country or any international destination without showing a negative test taken no more than three days before departure or proof of recovery from COVID-19.

Test positive, and you can't fly home until you are cleared by a doctor or provide proof of a negative test. Hotel and airline interpretations of the CDC rules vary, but travelers who've been stuck say they were told between 10 and 14 days in isolation.

When the requirement was announced on Jan. 12, travelers rushed to cancel plans or shift their vacation plans to U.S. vacation spots that don't require COVID-19 tests. But the bookings rebounded as some hotels announced free testing and a free quarantine stay if they tested positive and vaccination rates have increased. A vaccination does not currently exempt travelers from the requirement. 

Mudd and plenty of other travelers weighed the risks and packed their bags for Mexico. The new rules went into effect four days before the couple's flight from Michigan to Cancun. They were married in June and had already delayed their honeymoon because of the pandemic.

 Ultimately, we had pushed it off so many times already, we decided we were going to go ahead and go for it,'' he said.

They wish they hadn't. The positive test stranded him in Mexico for nine nights longer than planned.

 It would have been better just to stay home, for sure, unfortunately,'' he said.

Alisha and Korey Mudd on their honeymoon in Riviera Maya, Mexico, near Cancun.
Alisha and Korey Mudd on their honeymoon in Riviera Maya, Mexico, near Cancun.
How many vacationers are testing positive for COVID-19 and getting stuck?
Mexico tourism and hotel officials say the rate of positive tests among travelers since the new testing requirement went into effect is minimal.

The Grand at Moon Palace, a luxury all-inclusive resort in Cancun, has had no more than 10 cases, according to Cesar Fallardi, director of operations. Together with sister Palace Resorts, the rate is 0.4% he said.

 It's nothing, honestly, nothing,'' he said.

In Los Cabos, another popular beach destination in Mexico, Pueblo Bonito's five resorts have had 23 positive results out of 8,196 tests, according to marketing director Mary Van Den Heuvel.

For a recent reporting trip to Cancun, I tested negative at my all-inclusive resort and boarded my flight with no problems. I also took a test a couple days before the trip as a precaution. 

Still, the topic of stranded travelers came up during a U.S. House aviation sub mittee meeting on March 2.

Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky recounted the story of an unnamed constituent who went to Cabo San Lucas and tested positive. She was asymptomatic and took two more tests to be sure the initial result was correct. The family was told to stop testing and wait for 14 days, when they would be eligible to get a doctor's note to fly home if they had no COVID-19 symptoms.

 But they couldn't get a doctor in Mexico to sign off on that,'' Massie said.

The family ended up flying to Tijuana, Mexico, walking across the border to San Diego and flying back to Kentucky from there, he said, repeating a story he had shared on Twitter in February.


What it's like when you test positive for COVID-19 in Mexico and can't fly home: 3 travelers' tales
Mudd and two other American vacationers who tested positive while on vacation in Mexico this year, but didn't be e sick or symptomatic, shared their stories with USA TODAY.

Michigan honeymooners: 'You might want to think twice about it'
Mudd and his wife, Alisha, were having a blast in Mexico before their honeymoon came to a premature end.

They spent one day deep-sea fishing, catching red snapper, yellow tail snapper and bonita. They donated the fish to the crew.

They zip lined and swam in caves in an adventure park and hung out at their all-inclusive resort, El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma.

The day Korey Mudd tested positive for COVID-19 they were supposed to meet up with friends from Michigan they had unexpectedly run into on their trip.

His first thought on hearing the results: That can't be right because I felt fine, no symptoms. We had been being, I thought, pretty careful.''

They wore masks and religiously used hand sanitizer, he said.

Mexico woes: Mexico deals with 'hundreds' of maskless tourists, closes Chichen Itza ruin site

Mudd was tested again when he got to his new room, a standard hotel room with a balcony but no private pool like the casita they booked. The second test was a PCR test, which is considered more accurate than the rapid test he took earlier in the day for free at the hotel.

The results took a couple days, but the out e was the same: COVID-19 positive.

His reaction to the honeymoon vacation mishap: I can't believe this is happening.''

The hotel initially told him he had to stay until he tested negative, which freaked Mudd out since people who get the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can test positive long after they've recovered from the virus.

 We had been on the CDC website, and we knew that wasn’t what our government was asking,'' he said.

The CDC's policy, revised in December, is that people who have tested positive but have no symptoms can be around others after 10 days have passed since their positive viral test for COVID-19, spokeswoman Caitlin Shockey said.

The El Dorado, which covers the cost of the extended stay for travelers stranded by COVID-19, eventually settled on 10 days after his first test if he had no symptoms.

Mudd also called the human resources department for his employer and was happy to find out COVID-19-related absences were covered.

 That was actually one of my biggest worries, was work,'' he said.

Alisha Mudd wanted to stay with her new husband, even if the only way they could see each other on their balconies was with a makeup mirror wedged high into an opening on the concrete wall separating their balconies.

But they didn't want to risk her testing positive and getting stuck when it was his time to leave, so she flew home as scheduled. Passengers must show proof of a negative test taken no more than three days before their return flight to the United States, meaning her original test would no longer be valid. 

The CDC's order on testing for international flights does not preclude spouses and other people who were exposed to a COVID-19 case but tested negative from boarding a flight back to the United States, Shockey said.

In Mexico, Mudd passed the time in his room browsing the internet on his phone he didn't bring a laptop on his honeymoon and watching Discovery Channel on the in-room TV. For food, he ordered hamburgers and other room-service items – its plimentary at all-inclusive resorts and mandatory during isolation. Pushups and squats sufficed for daily exercise.

Alcohol, also plimentary at all-inclusive resorts, was not allowed, something the hotel attributed to doctor's orders, he said. Alisha Mudd, who was allowed to leave the quarantine wing, brought him back a Dos Equis beer when she was still in Mexico because a manager had said she could bring him drinks as long as she didn't enter his room.

Hotel security found out and scolded her.

 They called her out of her room to tell her,'' Mudd said.

Mudd finally left Mexico for Michigan on Feb. 7, nine days later than planned, but not before a major scare at Cancun International Airport. He showed American Airlines agents a doctor's note saying he had recovered from COVID-19 recently and received a boarding pass.

Before the flight departed, though, a gate agent told him there was a mistake, and he wasn't allowed to fly. He was escorted back through security, where a manager showed him a laminated sheet of paper saying he wasn't allowed to fly home until 14 days after his positive test, not 10 days. His wife had called American and other airlines about their policies before booking her husband's new ticket home and was simply told we follow CDC guidelines.''

American has since changed its policy from 14 days to 10 days to align with CDC guidelines and other major airlines, spokeswoman Sarah Jantz said.

Mudd didn't want to stay any additional days in Mexico, so he paid for a last-minute rapid test at the airport.

Travelers wait in line for a COVID test at Cancun International Airport.
Travelers wait in line for a COVID test at Cancun International Airport.
It was negative.

He flew home on a later flight.

They have few plaints about how the hotel handled the situation but don't re mend taking the risk of testing positive on an international trip.

 Anybody we know that says they’re going, my wife kind of says, 'You might want to think twice about it. We had a pretty bad experience,' '' Mudd said.

Kansas City paralegal: 'I even told my sister-in-law: I don't want to get stuck in Mexico'
Kansas City, Missouri, paralegal Lucia Rooney was considering canceling her Mexico vacation up to a few days before her Jan. 23 flight to Cancun.

The CDC's new COVID-19 testing requirement would take effect four days before they were due to fly home, and she worried about the risk of testing positive. Rooney can work remotely, but her husband can't. Their adult daughter was watching their teenage son.

Rooney and her husband were the only two people in their traveling group of six who hadn't had COVID-19 within the past 90 days and thus were exempt from the testing requirement if they provided a doctor's note. Her husband had had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but she hadn't yet.

 I even told my sister-in-law, I don’t want to get stuck in Mexico,'' she said.

The couple decided to go for it'' and headed for Riviera Maya. They were impressed by the mask wearing at their hotel by vacationers and workers and were happy the resort wasn't busy.

 It was pretty easy to stay away from people if you wanted to do that,'' she said. The resort employees were awesome. They were way more vigilant, I would say, generally than people are at home.''

They went scuba diving four times and enjoyed ocean-view dinners with their friends and family.

Lucia Rooney, in a light green shirt facing the camera, dines with friends and family memb



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