With the pandemic of swine flu in Mexico abating, the British government has relaxed restrictions on travel to and from the Central American destination.
Taking advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UK Health Protection Agency, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) decided to lift a ban on non-essential travel to Mexico, allowing holidaymakers to pursue their summer holidays this year.
In a travel summary bulletin, the FCO announced: “Following a decline in the number of reported new swine influenza cases in Mexico since its peak on 26 April 2009, we no longer advise against all but essential travel.” The FCO said that it had consulted with the WHO, who reassured holidaymakers it was safe to travel, despite keeping the Pandemic Threat Alert at level 5.
With the lifting of the ban, Mexico can start to rejuvenate its damaged tourist industry, though the expectation is that it will take quite some time before holidays to Cancun become a popular option among tourists again. Airlines will start up flight services once again to Mexico but the demand from passengers is likely to be low until the country can fully recover from the outbreak.
Last week, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also relaxed its attitude towards non-essential travel, and flights to Mexico will restart as the CDC expected to downgrade its threat level. Mexico usually receives some 23 million visitors a year, a large proportion of who come from the States. Encouraging tourists to come back to Mexico will be a tough proposition, but a number of bargain breaks and special offers could go a long way to enticing travellers to return to the country.