FAQ - Impact of COVID-19

Please refer to this FAQ for critical questions pertaining to COVID-19 and the impact on the New Mexico tourism industry.


What is the status on New Mexico State Parks?

As of May 15, 17 New Mexico State Parks are open on a day use-only basis. For a list of State Parks open for day use, along with guidelines on what is and is not permissible, please visit the New Mexico State Parks website.

What is the status of museums?

All state-operated museums are closed to the public, unless it is deemed necessary to extend the closure.

When will the public health order be rescinded?

On May 15, the emergency public health order was amended to ease restrictions for certain businesses and services. Further restrictions for more businesses and services may be lifted in early June.

Is NMTD closing Visitor Information Centers?

In order to help mitigate the impact of community spread of COVID-19, the New Mexico Tourism Department made the decision to temporarily close all state-owned visitor information centers until further notice.

What is the status of mass gatherings?

Mass gatherings are still prohibited in New Mexico. "Mass gatherings" are defined as: any public gathering, private gathering, organized event, ceremony, or grouping that brings together five (5) or more individuals in a single room or connected space, confined outdoor space or open outdoor space. Mass gatherings does not include the presence of five (5) or more individuals where those individuals regularly reside. Mass gatherings does not include individuals who are public officials or public employees in the course and scope of their employment.

Why are restaurants, bars and other eateries closed?

They are only closed to dine-in customers, under this order. Closing non-essential places where people gather is essential to getting New Mexicans to stay home in order to mitigate the spread of this virus. You can still call in an order for pick-up or home delivery from any restaurant that chooses to provide those services, and we strongly encourage you to find other ways to help keep local businesses like these afloat during these difficult times.

What about breweries and distilleries?

Breweries and distilleries can offer to-go/takeout service, but CANNOT offer curbside/drive thru service. Breweries and distilleries that serve food can still offer food as to-go/takeout.

What is the status with casinos and racetracks?

Casinos shall remain closed, per the public health order. The public health order excludes casinos operating on Tribal land, but Tribal casinos have voluntarily closed to help the state prevent the spread of COVID-19. Horse race facilities are permitted to operate without spectators.

What is the status of non-essential businesses?

On May 15, non-essential businesses were allowed to operate at 25% maximum occupancy as determined by relevant fire marshal or fire department codes. Employers must abide by the COVID-Safe Practices outlined for all New Mexico businesses. There are exceptions to this provision. All businesses and recreation facilities identified as "close contact" shall remain closed. These include: barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, adult entertainment venues, spas, massage parlors, esthetician clinics, tanning salons, guided raft tours, guided balloon tours, gyms, personal training services, movie theaters, swimming pools, museums, bowling alleys, miniature golf courses, arcades, amusement parks, concert venues, performance venues, go-kart courses, indoor shopping malls, and other places of indoor recreation or outdoor entertainment.

What is the status of golf courses? 

As of May 1, golf courses are open to the public in a limited capacity based on required COVID-Safe Procedures. Staff must abide by CSPs for all employers in addition to CSPs for golf courses.

What is the status of hotels, resorts and lodging?

The order requires hotels, motels, RV parks, and condominium rentals with central check-in desks to operate at no more than 25 percent of maximum occupancy. Health care workers who are engaged in the provision of care of New Mexico residents or individuals utilizing lodging facilities for extended stays or as temporary housing shall not be counted for purposes of determining maximum occupancy. Lodging venues must abide by CSPs for all employers in addition to CSPs for hotels, resorts and lodging.

What about short-term vacation rentals?

Per the amended public health order, short-term vacation rentals are allowed rent only to New Mexico residents.

How will this order be enforced?

The state is working with local governments to ensure residents, visitors and businesses are keeping each other safe. People may report non-compliance with the public health order here.

How long will this last?

The emergency public health order was amended on May 15 with restrictions still in place for residents and businesses based on gating criteria. The state may see more restrictions eased in early June.

Where can I learn more about what New Mexico is doing to respond to COVID-19 and what’s available to affected workers, businesses, students and more?

newmexico.gov is being updated constantly as the state responds to the COVID-19 outbreak and identifies more resources for affected families and workers. For health-specific information about COVID-19, visit cv.nmhealth.org. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and would like to be screened for a test, call 855-600-3453.



What sort of financial assistance could be available to the hospitality and tourism industry?

The New Mexico Tourism Department has put together a resource hub of federal, state, local and outside sources of financial support for businesses affected by COVID-19.

How can NMTD and the state help mitigate the immediate economic impact?

The New Mexico Tourism Department is actively capturing the economic impact through sector-specific surveys. If you have experienced economic impact due to COVID-19, we encourage you to submit your economic injury through this initiative.



All questions about COVID-19 should be directed to the Department of Health.



Is the state adjusting is advertising and marketing strategy?

NMTD is postponing the launch of our spring/summer FY20 campaign indefinitely. Our plan is to launch the campaign when travel is more encouraged.

Will NMTD continue to market events?

All event promotion and partnerships are postponed until further notice.


NMTD Programs

What is the status of the Cooperative Marketing Grant Program?

We have paused all of our spring/summer cooperative advertising plans indefinitely. We are working individually with co-op partners to determine what options might be available to them per their individual fiscal situations. Our goal is to continue to partner in a cooperative manner with all possible entities.

What is the status of the Clean & Beautiful Grant Program?

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the Department of Health's Emergency Public Health Order, the New Mexico Tourism Department will extend the deadline for the FY21 Clean and Beautiful grant application to May 1, 2020. Please note that we are revising and editing this program in real time, and will continue to do so as more information comes.