Swine Flu Cancun- Monday May 4th Update

I'm still not feeling very well but I did want to update you on what we know about the situation in Cancun and Quintana Roo. Please check the links, I can only share what is in the news and trust my sources to be as accurate as possible. Don't shoot the messenger.

1. Three Confirmed Cases of AH1N1 in Quintana Roo- The governor of Quintana Roo confirmed that there are three cases of flu in the state, one in Chetumal, one in Felipe Carrillo Puerto and one in Cancun. The patients are all recovering and are out of danger.

2. Tourism is in grave danger- While the risk of infection will pass quickly, it may take up to six months for the economy of Cancun and the Riviera Maya to recover. Airline cancellations and travel alerts have tourists heading to Dominican Republic and other Caribbean destinations and leaving their dreams of a Cancun vacation behind, putting at risk the livelihood of tourism industry workers in the area. The World Health Organization insists that there is no rationale behind the travel restrictions being implemented by many countries around the world..

3. Businesses set to re-open May 7 in Mexico City- Authorities are suggesting that barring any impediments, businesses in Mexico City that have been closed will be allowed to re-open on Thursday May 7. One can assume that this order will extend to the rest of the country as well, though the only mention in the media is regarding Mexico City.

3. Return to school tentatively set May 7- Governments are working together to decide if children and teachers will return to classes on May 6. They are currently asking education workers to go into the schools for cleansing and disinfecting in the hopes that classes can resume quickly. While a decision has not yet been made, there is talk of extending the closures until Monday May 11th, though Quintana Roo schools apparently will be back on Thursday.

4. Outbreak may not be as bad as feared- The New York Times states that the H1N1 virus has taken less of a toll on Mexican citizens than originally feared. While the numbers being reported last week seemed high, on closer inspection and on receipt of definitive test results, the actual number of cases is lower than originally suspected. Mexican President Felipe Calderon stated that his government has effectively controlled the spread of the virus and is hopeful that the worst is over.

Meanwhile, on the streets of Cancun.....

While the tourists may have fled, the locals were out enjoying the beaches over the weekend, grateful for a chance to escape the house and to let the kids run free. We've heard that some hotel chains are consolidating their guests, transfering some tourists to sister hotels in order to serve them more efficiently (no, I do not have the names of the hotels, only rumours which I prefer not to post). Most businesses are still operating, though indoor, enclosed nightclubs with large capacities are closed down. Restaurants and bars that accomodate fewer than 80 people are being allowed to remain open, though running shorter hours or reduced capacity. Tours are still operating, with the exception of trips to the Mayan ruins which remain closed across the nation. Xcaret and Xelha (the beautiful eco-parks in the Riviera Maya) continue to remain open. Public transportation is still functioning, ferries to the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres are still operational and marinas are open.

Regardless of today's news of confirmed cases in Quintana Roo, I ask you to please continue to watch the news before cancelling any upcoming trips to the area. Things should be back to normal in no time, at least that is what the authorities are telling us. There are controls in place to minimize the spread of disease, the airport is still taking precautions to prevent anyone with a high fever from entering or leaving Cancun and area businesses are making great efforts at keeping everything as sanitary as possible. I'm not saying "Come on down!" nor "Don't come!", I can't honestly take either side, I am simply saying wait as long as you are comfortable before changing your plans, if all goes well you'll be sipping margaritas on the beach as planned. I can't make anyone's decision for them, nor can I speculate about what is going to happen in the coming weeks, I am not an expert on infectious disease and am uncomfortable saying that "we are out of danger" OR "we're all going to die", I can only report what is in the Mexican media today which seems to suggest that things are improving, even with the cases in Quintana Roo being made public.

(Sources are from Monday May 4th at 9:30 am CST and are as accurate as I can ascertain at this moment in time. Please note that things can change fast, be sure you are reading the most up to date information)

(this is old news now folks, here's a link for the latest updates on h1n1 in Cancun)


Jorge said…
Before you get nasty comments or emails, my advice to ALL who are planning to come or to cancel your trip to Mexico, please READ different media/sources and make your own conclusion/decision.

I'm not happy with the situation, my job is in risk too but hopefully we will have you here soon!

The husband.
DNichols said…
I am NOT cancelling my trip to Cancun on May 31st. My party of 14 will be there for the week - and we are READY!! We have had our tripped booked since September and this is no stopping us now!!
Great post honey. I hope that you are feeling better. Can't wait to meet up.
Joan said…
Friends and I will be there on Thursday. Can't wait, we're all so exited about our mother's Day trip!!
Kelly said…
I'm hoping to be in Coz on the 5/13...but now people in my party are worried about the weather! Since you lived in Coz, should I be worried about reports of rain in May? According to Trip Advisor, I shouldn't.

I hope you feel better soon, don't break your neck getting back to me on this weather thing.
Hyuna said…
We are hoping we won't cancel our trip to Cancun for 14-18!
Calypso said…
Hope you are feeling better and healing fast CC.

Thanks for the update from down there.
Amanda Lynn said…
If I had the money, I'd gladly plan a trip to Cancun. But alas, I'm a poor college student. Some day! In the mean time, I hope you start feeling better, and that the economy makes a fast recovery as well.
Steve Cotton said…
My best wishes to you, as well.

As I was reading through your post, I realized that one of the policy errors in this whole business was based on the fallacy that experts and scientists know what is best for citizens. They don't. They are merely one source of information for public servants -- and for the public. We are free to reject their advice, just as we are free to reject the advice of any other person.

In this instance, the media created its own miasma of hysteria, leaving the government with restricted options. If there is a fly in the ointment, it is our friends in the press who once again got the whole thing wrong.
Disgusted said…
All these rumors of hotels closing just have me wondering if I'm going to show up at the Iberostar Cozumel on 5/7 only to be sent right back to Cancun.
Anonymous said…
Early last week I posted the family and I were sad to see our dream of being in Cancun only becoming a dream. Well...now we're almost 100% sure we'll be there May 10th. Hope the news gets better with common services being re-opened.
Nicholas said…
If things continue, we will be there May 19!
Anonymous said…

I am due to arrive in Cancun on Monday, May 11th and am still very excited about my trip... I just have one concern... I keep hearing that the bars/nightlife have all been ordered to shut down but I can find anything really confirming this online. Does anyone know if this is true or can I expect to find Cancun up and running?
thanks in advance.
Jorge said…
@Vera, I was ah the HZ last Thursday and The City, Dady'O, Dady Rock, Coco Bongo and Bulldog Cafe were closed, the rest of open space bars were up and running.

PingPong_Kid said…
Hey Fellow Travelers,
First to CanuckCancun Lady Kelly. Thanks for your incredibly useful posts. Your time and generosity is very much appreciated. And I too want you to get well soon.

Okay, we are going down on Sunday May 10th and are extremely confident things will be almost 100% back to normal. We really really want to go to the pyramids though and hope they are open. Can someone please let me know how things are looking on that front?

IMHO: It's really a shame that a handful of public officials and the everpresent media have been allowed to devastate the Mexican economy and literally shut down the world. Its really disgraceful and disgusting. Something really needs to be done about this needless fearmongering and causing unnecessary panic and hysteria. Speaking of which, Margaret Chan, head of WHO, has been talking seriously about raising the pandemic level to 6 when others such as Felipe Calderon are announcing that the flu has peaked and the cases and severity are declining. Folks this woman (Chan) is a complete nutjob and is, I think, legally insane. Completely out of control. There you have it.

Canuck in Cancun refuses to tell anyone to go or to stay, which is understandable in her situation. I however am telling all of you TO GO ON YOUR VACATION as planned. Let's ignore the fears and start pumping money into the QR economy Let's show EVERYONE it's completely safe to visit Cancun. Above all, let's have some fun. See you down there.
Anonymous said…
Thanks Jorge... I appreciate it.
LisaG05 said…
May 6th...Cancun...will be there...will have margarita...woooo hooooo!!
GutsyWriter said…
Found your blog today, via Mic, one of my followers. I love Cancun and we lived in Belize for a year with 3 boys. We always stay at the Crown paradise, with our boys, now older, and they loved it. I wonder if we could get a GREAT DISCOUNT now. I think the beaches are fantastic and so are the people. What do you think about booking NOW.
RipeForPickin said…
Who is the Ping Pong Kid? Who is "we", are you married? I like your thinking. Maybe we could meet up when you're in Cancun. Respond and I'll send you pics. Oh, I'm assuming you are a man?
beachprincess said…
CC, thank you soooo much for all the info. We will be arriving 5/10 to your beautiful city. Knowing (fingers crossed) that most things will be open again starting 5/7 is music to our ears.
Hope you are feeling better soon !!!
Anonymous said…
I keep hearing that thing will be open again as of 5/7 in Mexico City. This is great news!!! I am hoping this means that Cancun will be back to normal as well. I will be there on Monday and cannot wait. I also received an update today from the travel company I booked with saying that this swine flu is no mor dangerous then a regular flu so I am not even concerned at all about it. Hope everyone has fun on their planned trips to mexico. CC, hope you feel better.
Disgusted said…
More closings announced IBEROSTAR HOTELS & RESORTS TO TEMPORARILY CLOSE SOME OF ITS RIVIERA MAYA HOTELS Due to decreased travel to Mexico as a result of the H1N1 Virus, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has voluntarily chosen to temporarily close some of its hotels in Mexico beginning May 8, 2009. This measure is being to taken in order to continue maintaining the high level of service that Iberostar is known for and provide guests with a memorable vacation experience. Guests who have booked upcoming stays or are currently staying at the hotels that will be closed are being informed and upgraded to other nearby Iberostar properties. The properties slated to close include: - Iberostar Paraiso del Mar—Guests will be upgraded to Iberostar Lindo/Maya - Iberostar Paraiso Beach—Guests will be upgraded to Iberostar Lindo/Maya - Iberostar Quetzal — Guests will be upgraded to Iberostar Lindo/Maya - Iberostar Tucan — Guests will be upgraded to Iberostar Lindo/Maya - Iberostar Cozumel — Guests will be upgraded to Iberostar Lindo/Maya Reopening dates will depend on increased travel to Mexico. The following Iberostar properties will remain open, fully operational, welcoming travelers: - Iberostar Paraiso Lindo - Iberostar Paraiso Maya - Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
There have been so many people effected by the down turn in economy from this whole thing. It is really frustrating. My husband's hotel Dreams Tulum remains open but their wait staff went from 200 to 15 and will only have 2 restaurants open each night instead of 4 or 5. Luckily for us my husband was chosen as one of the 15, for this week anyway.

I really hope that things start to turn soon and that people start traveling. We live on a salary of 2000 pesos a month (around $133.33) the rest is tips. If there are no people there are no tips.
Anonymous said…
I'm schedule to go to Cancun on May 29th, my birthday is on the 30th. My girlfriend and I fully intend on being in Cancun. We're hoping it will be open for business once again. We're staying at the JW Marriott and were suppose to be enjoying the Club 91 (VIP) amenities. I received a note from them stating, "due to low occupancy, we cannot offer the Club 91 services at this time." So we booked an all inclusive place down the road in Puerto Morelos. Just hope Coco Bongos will open up again as my girlfriend has never been there.

Unfortunately it was a slow news week when all this hysteria started. I think the networks got tired of reporting on the crappy economy so they started reporting on this. Ironically, they further fueled the economic crisis by forcing the travel and hospitality industry into an even further slow down. This was certainly irresponsible.

I'm not saying this news should not be reported, but blowing it totally out of proportion, there are a lot more victims losing wages then victims with the flu.
CancunCanuck said…
I'm trying hard to catch up on comments and emails, I want to say THANK YOU for all your positivity and your continued support of Cancun and the area. I hope everyone with upcoming plans has a fantastic trip, thanks again!
Karen in NYC said…
Karen in NYC

I wish I was working so I'd have the money. I would be there SO FAST.....THe flu doesnt scare me...Its a small blip....not a huge deal.
April said…
I just spoke with a representative with the Palace Resorts in Riveria Maya. She stated that the Adventura Spa Palace was scheduled at 80% occupancy for June 8. SShe knows of NO combined hotel stays for Palace Properties. I amsoooo going!

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