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Tips for Healthy & Safe Travel In New Mexico

During this time, the New Mexico business community is implementing additional COVID-Safe Practices at their establishments to help ensure the health and safety of their customers. Below are some of the additional safety measures you can expect and plan ahead for when visiting New Mexico’s businesses, restaurants, and attractions.

For more information on the status of COVID-19 in New Mexico, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health.

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Guidelines for Travel in New Mexico

If you are traveling to New Mexico, please follow all safety guidelines and restrictions. Local governments may impose more restrictive guidelines so be sure to check local instructions before traveling. Please be mindful of the following general guidelines for travel to and within the state of New Mexico:

  • As of March 27, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order requiring air travelers to New Mexico self-isolate for at least 14 days to help combat the spread of COVID-19. On June 1 the public health order was amended to provide the following exemptions to the 14-day self-quarantine requirement:
    • airline employees on travel for work
    • individuals performing public safety or public health functions
    • emergency first responders
    • health care workers
    • military personnel
    • individuals employed by a federal agency or a national defense contractor
    • individuals arriving to New Mexico pursuant to a court order
    • individuals traveling to New Mexico to conduct business activities
  • Beginning May 16, everyone is required to wear a face covering in public in the state of New Mexico. The only exceptions to wearing a face covering are eating, drinking, exercising, or medical requirements
  • As of May 16, retailers in New Mexico are allowed to be open at 25% maximum occupancy
  • Beginning June 1, lodging venues can operate at 50% maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices
  • Beginning June 1, restaurants can offer indoor dine-in service at 50% maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices
  • Beginning June 1, hair salons, nail salons, massage services, and related services may operate at 25% maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices
  • Beginning June 1, indoor malls may open at 25% maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices
  • Beginning June 1, gyms may operate at 50% of maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices
  • Bars are not permitted to operate other than take-out and curbside pickup permitted under applicable licenses
  • Casinos are currently closed
  • Horse racing facilities may operate without spectators
  • All state-operated museums and historic sites are temporarily closed to the public. Visit newmexicoculture.org for more information
  • All events and gatherings of more than five people are prohibited and 6 feet of physical distance from others must be maintained

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COVID-Safe New Practices at Hotels, Resorts & Lodging

At this time, hotels, resorts, and other lodging establishments are operating at 50% maximum occupancy with extra safety measures in place. Please note these changes to hotel and lodging operations:

  • Visible signage will be utilized to communicate occupancy limits and health, hygiene, and safety procedures
  • Information on health, hygiene, and safety procedures will be provided to guests upon check-in with guest check-in packets and/or through digital reservation confirmations
  • Lodging establishments will adhere to the enhanced cleaning procedures outlined by the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Stay Safe Enhanced Industry-Wide Hotel Cleaning Standards
  • Unnecessary items such as paper, pens, booklets, extra towels, decorative bedding, etc. will be removed from guest rooms
  • Comfort items and appliances such as coffee machines, irons, hair dryers, extra blankets, etc. may be provided upon request
  • Housekeeping shall only provide cleaning service during a guest’s stay upon request by the guest
  • Multiple guests per room are to be limited to “same households” only (individuals who live within the same place of residence)
  • Directions to stairwells must be prominently displayed for guests who wish to avoid elevator usage
  • If food service is provided onsite, room service is encouraged as a first option for guests who would like food service with food carts being left at guest’s door to minimize contact
  • Self-serve food bars and refreshments such as water, coffee, ice, etc. will be closed or removed. Hotel staff can provide these services upon request.
  • Valet service will be suspended
  • Use of communal hot tubs, saunas, and exercise rooms will be discontinued
  • Private hot tubs and saunas are required to be cleaned and disinfected after each client use

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Staying Safe While Dining In

Beginning June 1, restaurants can offer indoor dine-in service at 50% maximum occupancy. Here are some of the COVID-Safe Practices and enhanced health and safety practices recommended by the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC that you can expect to be in place to keep customers safe while dining in New Mexico’s restaurants:

  • Tables will be placed six feet apart
  • Services that require customers to congregate in common areas or use common utensils/dispensers, including salad bars, buffets, and beverage and coffee station have been discontinued
  • Single-use items such as plates, cutlery, and napkins will be provided directly to customers and not left in common areas or on tables for self-service
  • Employees that handle items used or provided by customers (tableware, cutlery, glasses, credit cards, cash, pens, etc.) must properly wash their hands or change gloves before serving another customer
  • Reusable items such as menus and condiment containers left on tables will be cleaned and sanitized after each use. Items that cannot be cleaned and sanitized after each use will be replaced with single-use items.
  • Animals and pets, excluding service animals, will not be permitted inside the establishment, onto patios, into stores, or other such areas
  • In an effort to support contact tracing, restaurants will be required to retain a daily log of all customers and employees who enter their establishment

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Responsible Outdoor Recreation

Starting May 1, 2020, New Mexico State Parks began slowly reopening of state parks for day use only. While many parks are reopening, services, activities, and hours of operations are limited so please consult the current Conditions and Alerts page for each park.

Please be aware of the following safety and health guidelines currently in place:

  • No more than 5 people per group
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance between people
  • No parking within ten feet of another vehicle
  • Visitors are strongly encouraged to carry their own sanitizing supplies and PPE
  • Comfort Stations and restrooms are closed to reduce close contact
  • Vault toilets at some State Parks will be available

Check with the National Park Service website for more information on openings, amenity availability, and best practices.

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Safe Retail Shopping

Beginning June 1, all retailers may operate at 25% maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Indoor malls may also operate at 25% maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Here are some of the safety guidelines required from New Mexico’s retailers to keep customers safe.

  • A schedule of stringent daily cleaning and sanitizing will be maintained
  • High-touch items such as doors, fitting rooms, and credit card terminals will be cleaned and disinfected once every two hours (or more frequently)
  • Safety protocols that allow for contactless curbside pickup and home delivery whenever possible will be established
  • Signs will be utilized to communicate occupancy limits and remind customers of mandatory face coverings
  • Signs, stanchions, and/or floor decals will be utilized wherever possible to support 6-foot social distancing, including one-way aisle traffic, and separate entry/exit

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Safe Travel Recommendations

Outside of the modified 14-day self-quarantine requirement on certain travel to New Mexico (see above), there are currently no domestic travel restrictions to the state of New Mexico. However, visitors to New Mexico should continue to follow the protective measures outlined by the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Put a distance of at least six feet between you and other people
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care
  • Stay up to date on the latest travel advisories from the CDC, WHO, and the U.S. Department of State

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Additional Resources

Center for Disease Control

New Mexico Department of Health

World Health Organization