Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Cancun- More Bad News for Travelers

I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but here I go. The government of Quintana Roo has ordered facilities with occupancy of greater than 80 people to close. This includes bars, nightclubs and restaurants in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya. Mayor of Cancun Greg Sanchez vaguely told the press that some hotels have been ordered closed, but refused to name them, only saying that they were in the Riviera Maya. Authorities are also preparing for a mass exodus (note this does not say "evacuation", read the linked source, they are just preparing for a lot of people to leave) of around 40 000 tourists on Friday and Saturday, virtually clearing the area of visitors. All archaelogic zones in the country have shut down, this includes the Mayan ruins in the area of Cancun. Eco parks at the moment are still open, but I suspect they may be ordered closed as well.

The Cancun airport is the first in Mexico to install 50 new heat thermometers to detect passengers with elevated fevers. The thermometers are set to be put into use tomorrow for both departing and arriving travelers. Cancun and Quintana Roo have yet to officially report a confirmed case of swine flu, maintaining that there are zero infected people in the state. And that's it for the good news.


In the rest of the country, the federal government has closed down all its non-essential operations until May 5th. All levels of government are declaring that they have plans in the works to ease the economic pain of all Mexicans during this crisis. They've promised around $200 USD to each person hospitalized by the infection and have assured waiters that they will receive 50 pesos a day while restaurants are closed.

I must admit to being in a bit of shock with the news of all the closures, particularly since they've reported no infections in the state. I understand the need to try to contain the virus, and I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry, but this is a huge step to take, it will put many people out of work, many people won't be able to feed their families. It honestly feels like hurricane time, the uneasiness in the air and the uncertainty about what is to come. While no citizen of Quintana Roo has been directly struck by the disease, everyone in the state will be feeling the effects of the flu. We've bounced back from worse for sure, Cancun will be on its feet again, but for the moment we'll be tightening our belts.



(this is old news now, here's a link for the latest updates on swine flu in Cancun)

37 comments:

My3Ro's said...

That is terrifying. I am so worried right now about my SIL in SLP! I hope you all stay well and stay sickie free. I am holding my boots shaking and praying this all passes soon for the better of both the US & Mexico.

Louise said...

I am so sorry to hear all of this. Not only for the tourists but for all of those that live and work in Quintana Roo. My prayers are with all of you.

I've just learned this evening that there are 6 probable cases of swine flu now being reported in my home state of Maryland, in and around Baltimore which is about an hour from my home. If the tests are positive for swine flu they will be the first in our state. We'll know tomorrow for sure. I'm still hoping that all of this will pass so that I can still enjoy my scheduled Cancun vacation in June.

Thanks again for your postings. I guess you never realized that one day you'd be the eyes and ears for so many across so many miles. I'm so glad I stumbled across your blog while googling for "swine flu in Cancun" information. The internet ..... isn't it wonderful!

American Mommy in Mexico said...

CC - Awful. Really. I ache for the Mexican economy and families.

We were out and about in PV today and all looked fairly normal. Although no cruise ships.

Steve Cotton said...

I feel sorry for the government officials who have to manage this heaklth issue. They are damned if they do, and dambed if they don't. No one wsants another post-Katrina mess on his hands.

Gaelyn said...

I suppose safe is good, but what it does to your economy is awful. I'd heard cruise ships had stopped putting in Mexico. Let's hope this passes quickly. Please stay clean and safe.

PingPong_Kid said...

This is truly unbelievable. Never in my wildest dreams did I think such a thing could happen.

Folks this is hysteria, fear, panic and hype--pure and simple. People in all countries and the US have lost all semblence of rational thinking and are acting like complete lunatics. I mean to completely shut down a large resort destination with ZERO confirmed cases of pig flu? Heat sensitive thermometers to single out people with elevated temperatures? What if you just laid out in the sun? What of yuo just exercised? It's sick, it really is.

So no trip for us. And none for many of you I gather. Many thanks to the WHO, CDC and the US/ Foreign Governments for giving me/ us a royal screwing. The media too! But I especially blame the WHO including that incompetent buffoon Margaret Chan and her ass-clown assistant Keji Fukuda. They should both be fired and stripped of their medical licenses. Before you get mad at me listen to what Chan said: "It really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic." If that isn't downright careless, irresponsible fearmongering, I don't know what is. And she is the DIRECTOR of WHO. I'm telling you it's frigging scary. See folks; people watch WHO and they watch the US Government and they base their beliefs and actions upon what WHO and all these others say and do. So yes, them, the CDC and the US Gov. are definitely blameworthy.

I mean the number of people affected by pig flu is so infinitesimal, it defies description. How about 1x 10 to the -8 power. Or about 1/100,000,000 of 1%. And that equals Threat Level 5 according to Chan and her goons.

So, all of you who got screwed out of your vacation like us, I'm sorry I really am.

And to the people of Mexico, including all of you who may lose your livlihoods for at least a little while and for those ill or who have lost their loved ones my heart goes out to you.

Please forgive me for my rantings. I'm so shocked right now I don't even know what I'm doing. All for a very very mild case of flu.

Calypso said...

At this point in time the reactions of governmental bodies and established medicine seems so over the top.

We are due a better explanation to this dramatic reaction in my opinion.

We are to assume these people are acting responsibly on the behalf of all - but there are many unanswered questions.

At this point we here in Mexico are riding this out. The other side of this event will be interesting - Stay Tuned!

Tyler said...

What major resorts have closed? Is the aiprot closed? I am still planning on our wedding, May 9, if our resort stays open AND we can get there!

Lisalou said...

I am supposed to be getting married in Playcar in June but flights from the UK have been cancelled until 8th May with a review 5th May. V V SAD :-(

Virginia said...

wait, so are you guys saying that's it? No one can go to Cancun now!?

Eric said...

As much as I hate to, I'm meeting with my travel agent today. I was scheduled to have my honeymoon at Secrets Maroma Beach starting May 10. But I can switch with no fees to the Dominican Republic. I don't really want to, but I also don't want to wait till next week and have to scramble 2 days before the wedding (may 09). It really sucks for Cancun, losing so many visitors. I'm sure the impact will be felt for a good while. Even if things shut down for a week or so, all this irrational fear being harbored by the WHO is going to have longer term ramifications for a while. I was on the fence till I read this blog, whether to come or not. But with things being shut down, sounds like it's not the best... Thanks for all your blogs. I'll check in later!
Eric in MD.

Jessi said...

Do you know if bar and restaurants in resorts are included in the closing? Thanks for your blog posts!

PingPong_Kid said...

Hey Gang,
Thank you so much for all your posts and thanks to the young lady that created and maintains this site.

Should you travel to Cancun right this minute? No way--I wouldn't. We were to leave May 2, 2009 and this is now impossible. And as I mentioned above its not the flu scare driving us away, because we're not worried at all. Our decision is based on the fact that by the time we take off Sat. May 2, and thats assuming we can, Cancun will pretty much be shut down and we couldn't do any activities, including Mayan stuff nor go out to dine and club. And if things are going as they are, our hotel would be ordered closed and we couldn't go anyway.

Read my post above. These health authorities have crossed the line between appropriate justified action and utter madness and insanity.

You will see in a weeks time, everybody responsible for this mess, will be totally backpedaling, including CDC, WHO, Foreign Govs. and Obama and his agencies saying they overreacted and its not really a threat at all. WHO will lower threat level to 2. The worst part is that they will all be congratulating themselves on what a good job they did preventing and controlling the 'disease' when the real truth is that the Swine Flu Epidemic was a fraud and a hoax to begin with.

For us travelers though, we will have lost the window to travel to these beautiful destinations, and 'lost' all the money we paid for these trips.

So, my advice is not to go. We are going to try to change destinations to Jamaica, Dom. Rep, but if it's not feasible due to costs, weather or personal schedules, we will have to wait until at the earliest November 2009 to travel to the Carribean. Again thanks to all the fearmongerers for this mess. I don't blame the Pig Flu disease for this mess, I blame our governments, authorities, doctors and experts for their over the top reaction to it.

Please you guys, let me know what all of you are going to do. By the way,we just tried to call Vacations To Go, our trip planners, and were told there is a 1 hour hold time. Great, huh?

PingPong_Kid said...

Hey, I almost forgot. My sympathies to all the waiters and waitresses who will be paid less than $4.00 USD/ day (for cancelled shifts) until this mess has been cleaned up. Talk about a slap in the face! I personally plan to really overtip, which I do anyway,the next time I visit.

Keep the comments coming people AND DON'T LET THEM SCARE YOU!

One last thing: how do you attach pictures to your comments? I would like to do it.

Danielle said...

This is very frustrating news. My husband and I had still planned on going. Have they given any sort of timeline for reopenings in Cancun. We don't leave until May
9th. So hopefully things will be opened again before then.

Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

Ruben's hotel (Dreams Tulum) has gone from 90% occupancy to 20% occupancy. We live on his tips and currently are in the group of people who are having a hard time feeding our families. His place is not closed so he is not getting any assistance. The hotel said that they are going to have to start laing people off soon.

For now we are all just staying in our homes, eating oatmeal. I really hope all of this blowes over soon. I am sick of oatmeal.

Virginia said...

This is ridiculous. If I'm still permitted to go, I'll be there. My resort has plenty to do.

Jon said...

I could not confirm the govt is closing down anywhere on the net, even the QR web site - I would think it would be on there? But you would know if you live down there. May 11th, not too far away, hope it clears up.

Jessi said...

Well said Ping Pong. And Rosas, my heartfelt sympathies to you and the rest of the service industry who is suffering from this over-exaggerated mess. Is there anything we can do or any organization you know of where we can donate food or money to help you from the U.S.?

ChicagoGirl25 said...

My boyfriend and I had booked a trip to Cancun last week, before this whole mess began.

Our departure date is May 16th - exactly ONE DAY after the airline's waiver fee policy ends (now through May 15th). Go figure.
We are waiting it out and watching what happens. Hopefully things turn around. Otherwise, I am crossing my fingers for the airlines to extend the waiver fees up until at least the end of May.

NARJAR said...

Any idea how long the "shut down" is supposed to last? We do not want to change our plans!

tj627whitt said...

Going down June 14th for our 25th hope all is well by then we love going down there, In Hagerstown , Maryland

PaulBunyan said...

Mexico has done nuch less testing than the US and "While no citizen of Quintana Roo has been directly struck by the disease" may reflect test reults; the fact that students from both New York and South Carolina returning from trips to Cancun have tested positive certainly idicates that Swine Flu is present in Cancun.

MACVSOG68 said...

Plans to be there first week in July, does anybody think this crap will still be going on in two months?

m said...

just got back and had a great time. I know that they are saying that people who left Cancun have been infected, but does anyone actually know any of them? I am a bit worried about what to do and how significant the issue is.

ctj9480 said...

Hello MACVSOG68...we have plans to be there June 23rd-June28th. We are taking a "wait and see" approach. No one knows if this will still be going on then. If it is we have no choice but to cancel..I am sure if it is what it is in June, airlines will still have to honor anyones decision not to go...I hope we all can continue forward with our vacation plans..and that this flu fizzles out and the Mexican people can recover their loses..

RIGHT-ON-right-on said...

my god people i wish someone would just slap our government in the face for creating a scare, think about it they say that there is wat 128 confirmed cases in the U.S. OH MY GOD THAT IS ONE FOR EVERY MILLION RUN RUN FOR UR LIVES..... YEA we were supposed to be going on may 10th but looks like were going to have to change our plans to jamaica.. CHUNG FOO or wat ever your name is DAMN U WILD WOMAN... PS. NOBAMA HUH UH HUH UH SORRY I DON'T HAVE MY TELLAPROMPTER UH HUH UH HUH UH HUH

OzShane said...

Definitely a big thank you to the Canuck lady who looks after this blog.

I leave Australia next week for a vacation travelling via the states to Cancun and have been left scrambling to work out what the real situation is on the ground in Cancun because of the most disgusting sensationalist reporting I think I've ever seen. I live on the other side of the world, surgical masks have sold out and they've installed hand sanitiser dispensers at the entrance to our office, the thermal monitoring has been introduced at all our aiports as well and our company has enacted a corporate quarantine on anyone who has travelled or travels to mexico (for 5 business days after return we cant return to the office.)

I am severely disappointed that I cant visit but I am more horrified at what this will do to the locals and their families not to mention all this in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis. Thank you to ROSAS CLAN, your post put helped me put things in to perspective.

Hopefully this is just like an out of season hurricane and will blow over quickly. When it starts to clear, there will be people in Mexico who will need your tourist dollars/pesos more desperately than ever. If you are considering cancelling your trip, perhaps consider postponing instead.

pj said...

We're scheduled to leave may 15 and we're completely confused. One day it's go another let's go elsewhere. But we love the area -- Mayan Palace area. Our boat captain says come down - don't listen to the news. Right now we're taking a wait and see and may reschedule to June. I hope the marlin are still running then.
Thanks for all the info!

Bullett said...

My Husband an I are planning on keeping our trip and leaving for Tulum on Wednesday--May 6th. Anything we should know before we go from the folks on the ground there?

u2dan said...

This is ridiculous. I actually was scheduled to come to Cancun for my first time and had to cancel and move my plans. I was looking forward to this and the Tigi hair show. I even had to pay extra to move my vacation, fees were waived but the prices were higher.
Ive been following your blog since this all started as we werent about to cancel the trip until it became almost forced.

Michael Rura said...

OK... It's official. My wife, who works for a big US travel brokerage, and I will be down on May 22 and will stay through June 1. We're booking our flights!

I hope the clubs I'm planning to get DJ sets in will be open and that I get to perform.

email: djmicrage@gmail.com

CancunCanuck said...

All seems to be clear for takeoff, thanks for all your wonderful comments, come on down, it's sunny and gorgeous!

bwolfgti said...

Just got back yesterday from Isle Mujeres right by cancun and i wouldn't hesitate to go again tomorrow. Absolutely nothing to worry about down there. We almost cancelled the last minute but decided to go for 8 days anyways and was sure glad we didnt cancel. The media is just making a bigger deal out of it than what it really is i think. Don't worry, go and have fun.
We didn't have any problems at ohare airport or cancun airport. In cancun we just had to fill out a short questionairre and they take your temp but it only takes maybe a minute total to do the questions and temp.

Margy said...

I just returned on May 5th fromn the Cancun area and can also confirm that there is absolutely nothing to worrry about in Quintana Roo or Yucatan provinces at this time, especially if you are happy to just go to the beaches and tour the small towns. You will just not be able to visit some of the larger tourist attractions (sadly the Mayan ruins and more popular Cenotes were closed, but Xel-ha and X-Carat were still open when we left). Many restuarants and smaller hotels in Cancun area and along the Mayan Riviera were still open when we left on May 5th (and were not at all crowded which was very nice).

There are more cases of influenza at home here in Massachusetts!

-mrj

Shane Strickland said...

My bestfriend and I are going down to Cancun from Atlanta on June 10th-16th. Can't wait. Hope all will be well.

Camelia said...

Hi Guys,

I am planning to go in Cancun on May 23 and I tried to call Expedia for any news about the Cancun and Maya location situation and I received the I DO NOT KNOW!
expedia tried to called the hotel several times and nobody answered the phone!
I hope that everything is OK and I will not be in situation to find out that the hotel is closed. IS IT A SHAME that Expedia has no clue about what happen in Cancun and I was told that I have to call Expedia in order for them to call the hotel. Which I think that is ridiculous as they charged the credit card and it is their responsibility to check the hotels for their customers!
I will really appreciate if you guys have some news as I really love to see the wonders of Cancun.
Good luck to everyone!
VAYA CON DIOS!