The most defining characteristic of 2020 thus far has been a wide-ranging uncertainty, as we’ve witnessed an unprecedented global pandemic create a host of unexpected challenges and pose a great many difficult questions for the future.
For instance, the question at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now: “When can we get back to normal?”
Let’s be honest: there’s going to be a “new normal” as additional health and safety precautions are put in place moving forward.
But for Los Cabos, the answer is very soon.
When Exactly Will Los Cabos Reopen from Quarantine Conditions?
The governor of Baja California Sur–the state of which Los Cabos is a part–has announced June 15th as the official reopening date.
Cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo will thus begin returning to a semblance of normalcy on Monday as previously shuttered “non-essential” businesses start to reopen. By July 1st, this list will include many area hotels and resorts. The Los Cabos International Airport, meanwhile, has never closed; although international flights will begin to ramp up again in coming weeks.
As in many other destinations, reopening comes with public safety restrictions. State authorities will release color coded “alert” levels each Monday, a graduated scale in which each of the six colors (red being most critical, green signifying new normality) symbolize the current state of the pandemic, and define the maximum number of people allowed in individual shops, bars, restaurants, and other public spaces.
How Badly Has Los Cabos Been Hit by the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Without attempting to minimize a global pandemic in which so many people have lost their lives or undergone traumatic experiences due to sickness–either personally or with extended friends and family–the truth is that Los Cabos has weathered the crisis quite well.
As of June 12, only 342 cases of Covid-19 and 13 fatalities have been confirmed for Los Cabos, a municipality whose population has grown to nearly 300,000 residents, and not only includes the popular resort destinations of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, but many smaller communities that stretch from the Pacific Coast across the interior mountains of the Sierra de la Laguna to the East Cape.
The number for Baja California Sur as a whole is 918. Compared to most Mexican states, and all U.S. states except Montana, this is a blessedly low number.
(All statistics sourced from coronavirus.gob.mx)
Plans to Reopen the Destination for Tourism
As countries around the world are relaxing border closures and travel restrictions, plans are already being put in place for tourism…this summer and beyond. The European Union has announced a plan for summer travel, with Italy, Spain and Greece, notably, welcoming international travel back this month. In the Caribbean, Saint Lucia became the first island to embrace summer tourism on June 4th. Not to be outdone, the Florida Keys, one of the great U.S. tourist destinations, reopened on June 1st.
México’s premier tourist destinations, too, are welcoming back visitors in June, a list headlined by Cancún and Los Cabos. In May, the Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, Rodrigo Esponda, announced a 5-point plan for the reopening of the beachfront paradise for national and international tourism, with the ultimate goal to return to previous levels…or the estimated 3.2 million people who typically visit the region on an annual basis.
Although a complete return of occupancy is not expected until 2021, resorts will begin reopening almost immediately, with the vast majority expected to open by the end of 2020.
Expected Schedule of Hotel & Resort Reopenings in Los Cabos
Why is Los Cabos staggering the opening of its hotels and resorts instead of opening them all at once?
“The objective,” according to Esponda, “is for the inventory of hotels and activities to be gradually added back so that as more tourists arrive we would be reopening (to meet the demand).”
To that end, dates are starting to be released for the openings of some Los Cabos resorts. Ultra-luxury leader Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, for example, welcomes back guests on June 22nd. Las Ventanas al Paraíso, Secrets Puerto Los Cabos, Breathless Cabo San Lucas, Dreams Los Cabos, and The Cape: A Thompson Hotel will follow suit on July 1st.
The International Terminal at Los Cabos International Airport will officially reopen July 1st to facilitate the resort reopenings, with flights gradually increasing as more resorts come back online.
The region’s unmatched collection of rental homes and luxury villas, meanwhile, are an excellent option for those seeking the ultimate in privacy, safety and security, and most properties are available for reservation now.
What Visitors Can Expect from the New Look Los Cabos
Yes, Los Cabos has changed to meet the challenges created by the global pandemic.
Return visitors to the destination will notice changes from the moment they step off their planes. The Los Cabos International Airport has instituted a Clean Point certification system that includes thermal imaging and temperature checks on all incoming passengers, as well as exposure risk-factor questionnaires, plexiglass shields at counters, mandatory face masks for employees, frequent sanitizing in all areas, and safe distancing protocols throughout the airport.
The journey from airport to resort has likewise been made safer as airport shuttles and transportation companies like Brown’s Private Service have made sweeping changes to their standard operating procedures. Vehicles are now completely sanitized between trips and a vinyl shield has been installed between masked driver and passengers in each of Brown’s fleet of cars, vans and limousines.
Hotels and resorts have also committed to maximum safety for guests. The four Pueblo Bonito Resorts in Cabo San Lucas, for example, have established safety and sanitary protocols for all operational areas. All guest luggage will be sanitized upon arrival, and guests will enter a sanitation cabin and receive temperature checks with an infrared digital thermometer. Mobile pre-check-in will be available and social distancing protocols of six feet will be established in all public areas, including pools and restaurants.
Area businesses like shops, bars and restaurants are also putting a premium on health and safety, with the number of allowable patrons at each establishment determined by weekly alert levels. Adherence to newly created sanitary protocols and mandatory training for all staff will also be enforced.
This unprecedented but necessary strategy to make the destination safer on every level–in every category of business, and in every public space–illustrates why Los Cabos recently became the first Pacific oriented destination to receive the Travel Safety Stamp granted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). This distinction is designed to provide visitors with confidence that the highest available measures in hygiene and sanitation are being taken by businesses across the board, and that the health of travelers is the foremost focus of the destination as a whole.
As to the glorious beaches, the superb fishing, the wonderful food and drink, the warm-hearted people, and all the other attractions that have made Los Cabos so popular for so many years…those will remain the same.
Isn’t it nice to know some things never change?
Saludos from Co-Founders…
Chris Sands – Writer and Michael Mattos