As of January 18, 2021, the number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in Mexico since the pandemic began had risen to nearly 1.65 million, up from 1.45 million two weeks earlier. Some areas of Mexico have higher infection rates and hospitalizations than others, in part due to population density and access to medicine and care. As a result, 10 states are now designated in the color red-indicative of the highest risk level of pandemic spread according to Mexico's traffic light COVID-19 alert system-up from 5 states for the previous alert period.

Mexico's traffic light monitoring system, which is updated every other week, was implemented in June 2020 to alert residents to the epidemiological risks of COVID-19 and provide guidance on restrictions on certain activities in each of the country's states. Below is a map for the period for January 18-31, 2021, indicating the COVID-19 risk level in each of the states.


Besides the 10 states in red status, there are 19 states in orange status and 2 states in yellow status. Only Campeche is in green status, and it is the only state that has been consistently in green status since the two-week period of September 27 through October 11, 2020.

Flexibility in Red Traffic Light Restrictions

Red status areas have the greatest restrictions on business operations and daily life in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. As more time has elapsed during the pandemic, however, states have allowed more flexibility with regard to sanitary and regulatory measures in order to help certain industry sectors operate. For example, in Mexico City the following conditions apply.

  • Restaurants may operate from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Gyms and sports clubs can operate in open spaces or outdoors.
  • The audiovisual industry, which includes film sets and anywhere audiovisual industry editing work is recorded and done, may resume operations.
  • Supermarkets and grocery stores may operate without restrictions as to hours of operations.

The above provisions are applicable until the Mexico City Monitoring Committee issues a further determination.

Jalisco has relaxed the red traffic light status restrictions as follows:

  • Self-service and department stores, tianguis (open-air markets), and shopping malls without common areas are all required to limit parking to 25 percent of normal capacity. These retailers can operate with entry restricted to a single person entering a facility through each entrance at a time, but without access to individuals who are 60 years old or older.
  • Restaurants can operate with a capacity of 50 percent and must close no later than 10:00 p.m.
  • Beaches can be open from 5:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The provisions above for Jalisco are applicable from January 16-31, 2021.

Vaccination Prioritization

Since January 12, 2021, Mexico has been rolling out vaccinations on a large scale. The federal government is prioritizing vaccinations as follows:

  • Medical personnel who directly attend to individuals with COVID-19
  • Adults 60 years old and older
  • Individuals with comorbidities
  • Teachers in states that are in green traffic light status
  • The rest of the population over 16 years of age

The federal government has issued guidelines for consulting the "National Vaccination Policy Against the SARS-CoV-2 Virus, for the Prevention of COVID-19 in Mexico."

This chart presents the traffic light status of each state, and, as applicable, variations between federal and local traffic light statuses based on publications of the federal Ministry of Health and status reports provided by each state.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.