San Miguel de Allende, a city known as the “Heart of Mexico” and located in the State of Guanajuato, was endorsed with the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travels stamp of approval recognizing the implementation of global standardized health and hygiene protocols in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The State of Guanajuato, as a whole, was also given the stamp.
The international stamp augments San Miguel de Allende’s own municipal “Health First” certification. The city launched “Health First,” which is granted after local health and safety officials evaluate each location and certify compliance with sanitary protocols for reopening, on May 25. Restaurants, hotels, golf courses, activity centres and cultural spaces, among others, must apply for the certificate online at www.sanmigueldeallende.gob.mx. In addition to the onsite inspection, businesses must complete paperwork providing detailed information on sanitation practices and undergo staff training sessions. Certification is “free but mandatory,” according to San Miguel de Allende Mayor Luis Alberto Villarreal García.
“San Miguel de Allende’s infrastructure has been working proactively to ensure the wellness of our residents and future visitors and making many sacrifices to contain this pandemic and working with health officials to ensure that all international requirements are met,” said Mayor Villarreal García. “Obtaining the WTTC’s ‘Safe Travels’ stamp endorses this work and reaffirms that San Miguel de Allende is properly ready in terms of sanitation.”
San Miguel de Allende entered its Phase 0 of its COVID-19 Reactivation plan — activation of the local economy for the residents — starting June 1. During the initial phase of the plan, the city saw most of the business infrastructure that affects residents reopen, including restaurants, markets, public transportation, offices and more. At this point, hotels, bars, cantinas, clubs, public or hotel pools will not yet reopen. All residents are asked to wear masks, practice social distancing and apply extensive hygiene practices. Businesses will be required to implement international-grade sanitation protocols, including shoe-cleaning, a decrease in interior foot traffic, set-up of dispensers of antibacterial sanitizer containing 70% alcohol, provision of face masks for people without them and hourly disinfecting of public spaces. At no point can any groups gather inside or outside public spaces.
Access to San Miguel de Allende has been closed since March to non-residents, with city police monitoring all entry points (Querétaro, Celaya-Comonfort, Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo and Dr. Mora). Those permitted to enter must not show symptoms of COVID-19 and must be essential to the needs of the recovery phase the city is currently in.
Mayor Villarreal García announced that hotels may start accepting bookings for July 15 arrivals as of this week, in the hope that the city may start reopening in the upcoming month.
“We take our place in the world seriously, as you do when you are with us,” said Mayor Luis Alberto Villarreal García. “With these efforts we confirm San Miguel de Allende as a leading destination.