Amid the COVID19 pandemic, some beaches will remain open, some closed and others partially open with restrictions.
A popular spring time tradition for many, Spring Break represents a week to escape to Baja with San Felipe, Rosarito Beach, La Paz and Los Cabos some of the more popular destinations.
COVID19 has changed the panorama for travelers and Baja is struggling to balance public health with the desire of so many seeking some freedom from the pandemic restriction and local business communities hurting from the lack of tourism over the last year.
With new hospitalizations and reported deaths from COVID19 trending down over most of the Baja Peninsula recently, both the northern and southern Baja states are inching towards the green light status but with different philosophies in how to manage the annual surge in tourism during Spring Break.
Baja California Sur has generally taken a much more cautionary approach and most of the more popular beach areas will have checkpoints on the roads leading to them where visitors will be monitored for temperature checks and ensure they are following the recommended pandemic protocols.
In addition to the checkpoints, a limit of 50% maximum capacity will be enforced at many of the beach areas south of the 28th parallel including Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos and La Paz along with the Malecon.
In addition to the restrictions on capacity, the beach areas will be open during daylight hours only with an evening to early morning curfew announced by local officials.
Mulege has also announced restrictions on the sales of alcohol during the week of Spring Break, a decision that was not very popular with many of the locals.
Baja California is a different story.
In spite of reports of an increase in new cases of COVID19 in recent days in Baja California, both business and state tourism officials have pressed to relax some of the safety protocol restrictions, leaving no clear message for tourists who are already beginning to arrive.
There are reports of a few beach areas considering checkpoints in areas near the highest expected concentration of tourists but few COVID19 restrictions have been ordered by state health officials this week.
San Felipe announced a few days ago that its beaches will be completely open during Spring Break and there is news that most hotels in the area are expecting to be at or near full capacity.
Increased hotel bookings in Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, Ensenada and San Quintin have also been reported but most of those areas will be facing a different type of restriction to beach access.
Alerts for contaminated beach areas
COFEPRIS (Comisión Federal para la Protección contra Riesgos), the federal agency assigned to safeguarding against health risks released a report of contaminated beach areas across Mexico yesterday, with three popular northern Baja Pacific beaches included on the list.
Recent testing of local beaches found unacceptably high levels of the bacteria E. faecalis – related to the E. coli bacteria – and like E. coli, it also can be life threatening.
The affected local beach areas are Tijuana l, Rosarito and Hermoso beach in Ensenada and beachgoers will be restricted from entering the water.
None of the San Quintin area beaches are affected by the pathogen but tourists visiting the area are still advised to exercise precaution as none of the beaches in the region will be offering life guard support during the holiday.