All hotels and timeshares in Los Cabos will have rapid antigen tests on-site starting Tuesday, just in time to help American travelers comply with a new requirement to show proof of a negative test before boarding a flight back to the United States.
According to the Los Cabos Tourism Board, antigen tests, which can produce results in as little as 40 minutes, will be administered by medical personnel at each hotel or timeshare location. Tourists will then be given a medical certificate, which is required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The cost of a test will vary with antigen tests starting as low as $60 while some hotels will offer the service for free. In addition to rapid antigen tests, Los Cabos will also offer travelers PCR tests at several locations with results available anywhere from 24 to 72 hours later. And the Los Cabos airport will have testing facilities as a last resort, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"We are proud of the strong partnership we have created with our tourism partners across the destination which has been critical to Los Cabos' response to COVID-19 and the creation of the new testing program," Rodrigo Esponda, the managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, said in a statement. "We are focused on continuing to provide a [personalized] service that supports the CDC requirement without disrupting the travel experience of our visitors."
Starting Tuesday, all international travelers will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of their flight to the U.S. Travelers must also quarantine in line with the CDC's recommendations of either 10 days or seven days if they report no symptoms and test negative for COVID-19.
Anyone who tests positive in Los Cabos will be required to quarantine in their hotel for 14 days until they test negative.
Los Cabos sits on the tip of Mexico's western Baja California Sur, which has reported a total of more than 22,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including a daily average of 206 over the past week, according to The New York Times. Baja California Sur is currently designated as "orange," under the country's color-coded stoplight system, allowing hotels and restaurants to operate at 50% capacity, according to the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico.
While the CDC has warned Americans against traveling to Mexico, they are allowed to travel there by air. The land border, however, remains closed for non-essential travel until at least Feb. 21.
Beyond Los Cabos, several hotels around the world — including many in the Caribbean — have committed to providing on-site COVID-19 testing to make travel easier.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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