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Travel Tuesday: Despite Level 4 Travel Warning, Americans Still Flying To Mexico

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging Americans to avoid all travel to more than 160 destinations because of very high COVID-19 risk. While that Level 4 warning includes Mexico, Americans are still flying there for getaways.

Popular all-inclusive resorts are adding safety measures and free testing now that the U.S. government requires a negative coronavirus test result to re-enter the country.

Renee and Rich Jilinski from Pennsylvania decided to honeymoon at Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort in Cancun, Mexico last year. They made their choice partly because of the resort's safety precautions rolled out during the pandemic.

"I actually feel safer coming here than some places probably in the U.S., unfortunately, sad to say," Renee said.

Secrets is part of AM Resorts, which has locations in eight countries. The company implemented the Clean Complete Verification program in all of its hotels.

"It's to build travel confidence and let them know that we take this very, very seriously," said AM Resorts' Vice President of Marketing, Erica Doyne.

travel safety_1
Vacuum sealed products for each guest (CBS News)

Among the changes, items in rooms are sanitized and enclosed in vacuum-sealed bags before a new customer checks in. There are sanitation stations and temperature checks around the property and staff members are always masked.

At nearby Le Blanc Spa Resort, which is part of Palace Resorts, the brand's 250-point safety plan includes electrostatic spraying, reminders about social distancing and no more buffets.

Travel Safety electrostatic spraying
Electro-static spraying (CBSNews)

Staff members are screened and walk through a disinfecting fogger before their shifts. Free rapid antigen testing is also available for guests at Palace Resorts as well as a complimentary 14-day quarantine if they test positive.

COO Jabib Chapur said: "You just schedule the appointment two or three days prior to departure, take the test, five minutes, and you're ready to enjoy the pool again."

Palace Resorts also shut down its swim-up pool bars at all of its hotels to try to minimize in person contact. AM Resorts opted to keep its pool bars open. Guests there get a dollop of sanitizing gel along with their drinks. AM Resorts also offers free rapid tests and quarantine if positive.

Additionally, both companies offer touchless menus, barrier screens, and flexible rebooking policies as part of their safety protections.

The CDC advises against travel, but says if you do: wear a mask, avoid crowds, stay at least six feet from others, and wash your hands often.

Click here to see all destinations listed under the CDC's level 4 warning.

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