Travel Update

Safe practices, requirements, and status of tourism businesses in New Mexico.  

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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.

red alert NOTICE FOR ALL TRAVELERS: Effective September 4, any individual traveling to New Mexico from states deemed high-risk based on COVID-positivity rates will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of their entry into New Mexico or for the duration of their stay in the state, whichever is shorter. To see the states and territories deemed high-risk and still required to quarantine, view the map down below. For more information regarding high- and low-risk criteria, click here. For more information for drive-through travelers and exemptions that may apply to the travel quarantine, click here.

 

mask icon NOTICE FOR ALL TRAVELERS: Face coverings are required for all visitors and residents in New Mexico. The only exceptions are when drinking, eating, or under medical instruction. Any individual found in violation may face a $100 fine.

 

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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:

  • Effective September 4, New Mexico has amended the requirements for the mandatory quarantine for individuals traveling to the state of New Mexico, exempting travelers arriving from low-risk states. The quarantine exemption is in effect for the states listed below:
    • Hawaii
    • Maine
    • New Hampshire
    • New York
    • Vermont

THE LIST OF LOW-RISK AND HIGH-RISK STATES IS UPDATED EVERY WEDNESDAY

low + high risk states

THE LIST OF LOW-RISK AND HIGH-RISK STATES IS UPDATED EVERY WEDNESDAY

  • 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 employed or contracted by an essential business traveling into the state to conduct business activities
  • 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, or medical requirements.
  • Effective October 23, food and drink establishments that have completed the New Mexico Safe Certification training program may continue to offer indoor dining at 25% capacity. Food and drink establishments that have not completed the Safe Certification training may continue to provide outdoor dining at 75% capacity. 
  • Museums with static displays may operate at 25% maximum occupancy
  • Effective October 23, state-run museums and historic sites will close
  • Retailers in New Mexico are allowed to be open at 25% maximum occupancy
  • Effective October 23, all retail establishments must close by 10:00 pm
  • Lodging venues can operate at 25% maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices, and places of lodging that have completed the New Mexico Safe Certified program may expand maximum occupancy to 60%
  • Agritourism experiences, such as pick-your-own pumpkin patches, are permitted to operate according to COVID-Safe Practices
  • Swimming pools may open with no more than 10 individuals in a pool at any one time
  • Hair salons, nail salons, massage services, and related services may operate at 25% maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices
  • Indoor malls may open at 25% maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices
  • Gyms may operate at 25% of maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices
  • Drive-in events may operate 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 not permitted to operate (please note: some tribal-owned casinos may be operating in limited fashion, as the state does not have jurisdiction over tribal-owned casino properties)
  • 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 5 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

Effective October 16, places of lodging that have completed the New Mexico Safe Certified program may expand maximum occupancy to 60%. Lodging properties that have not completed the NM Safe Certified program must operate at 25% 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 and saunas will be discontinued
  • Hotel fitness centers will be allowed to operate following the COVID-Safe Practices for gyms and swimming pools
  • 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

Effective October 23, food and drink establishments that have completed the New Mexico Safe Certification training program may continue to offer indoor dining at a maximum of 25% capacity. Food and drink establishments that are not New Mexico Safe Certified may continue to offer outdoor dining service at 75% capacity. All food and drink establishments must close by 10:00 pm. 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 note that effective July 13 New Mexico State Parks are not open to out-of-state residents. Individuals who visit a state park must demonstrate proof of residency, such as a state ID or state-issued license plate.

Effective October 1, New Mexico residents may overnight camp at most state parks in groups of 10 or less people.

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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COVID-Safe Practices for Museums and Cultural Institutions

Museums with static displays may operate at 25% maximum occupancy in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Effective October 23, state-run museums and historic sites will close. Please contact individual museums and cultural institutions before planning your visit for additional information regarding openings, hours of operations, and available services. Here are some of the safety guidelines required to keep patrons safe.

  • Maximum occupancy limits per the State's Public Health Order will be adhered to
  • Interactive exhibits and attractions will be discontinued
  • Use of rental equipment, such as headsets, portable speakers, and strollers will be discontinued unless required for ADA accessibility 
  • Use of coat check areas, lockers, backpack and purse storage, and related  storage for public use will be discontinued
  • Access to areas where patrons are likely to congregate will have limited access
  • All food and beverage service will adhere to the COVID-Safe Practices for restaurants and follow the dining capacity set by the State's Public Health Order
  • Group visits, guided tours, public programs, and special or private events must comply with all State Public Health Orders regarding mass gatherings

 

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Safe Retail Shopping

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. Effective October 23, all retail establishments must close by 10:00 pm. 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