Puerto Vallarta is open for business, so how is the city handling the pandemic?

In July 2020, much of the world will begin to open their borders to foreign visitors, and bring back tourists for the important summer season. But many of those countries will not allow U.S. citizens to enter, since the rate of Covid-19 infections are going up in this country, as opposed to other countries that have almost eliminated the virus.

Before the global pandemic of 2020, the US passport was one of the most powerful travel documents in the world. But until U.S. infection rates drop to levels that are similar to countries in Europe and Asia, many countries will keep U.S. visitors out.

Choices for travel are somewhat limited, but it’s not all bad news: according to The New York Times, there are many great destinations that are once again welcoming U.S. visitors.

Mexico still has its border closed to land crossings from the U.S., but many cities within that country are welcoming visitors who arrive by air. Among those cities is Puerto Vallarta, where hotels are allowed to operate at 30% capacity and restaurants are open to customers with reduced seating capacity. Some travelers will think is a dream scenario—these gorgeous properties, the pools, the restaurants, the beaches, all wide open with lots of privacy! (Sadly, bars remain closed.)

 

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Mexico is especially enticing because they don’t require proof of a negative Covid test upon entering the country. Many countries require U.S. visitors to provide results of a negative Covid test, performed 72 hours before arrival. That is basically impossible to get in the U.S., where labs are so overwhelmed with tests, it takes the labs at least a week to process the tests that they receive. But Mexico does not require any testing to enter, and instead relies on social distancing and mask precautions while in hotels and restaurants.

Costa Sur Resort & Spa is a lovely hotel in Puerto Vallarta and one of the most popular choices for weddings in the city (see below). GayCities chatted with Gelsey Fadul, the Director of Sales for the property, about how tourists are being welcomed back to this beautiful city.

 

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How has Covid-19 changed how guests stay in your hotel? 

We have less guests of course, but everyone is following guidelines and having fun. There is a lot more spacing, and with our staff in masks you get to see less smiles, but the service remains very much the same. Chefs are still around, bartenders are here. Cleaning takes a bit longer, as sanitizing takes a bit longer.

The Costa Sur has a nice restaurant and bar (photo, top), and they are outside. Does being outside make it easier to follow the new rules for public health?

Absolutely! The fact that guests are enjoying clean air is a huge plus.

How does a place like Puerto Vallarta enforce “social distancing” at the beach? In the US, nobody at the beach practices social distancing.

Social distancing at public beaches is not being enforced.  Social distancing is up to each individual. On our hotel’s private beach, we have limited lounge chairs available in order to control social distancing.

Since you live there, as a local resident: what do you want to do now that the city is opening up more? 

I already went to my favorite restaurant. I missed it so much! Florios, it is located in an old house in downtown Puerto Vallarta, a block from the Malecon, and everything is cooked in a wood oven!  The owner is Argentinian and by far this place has the best pizza, pastas, bread, and beef cuts in PV.

 

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