Life in PV right now and more Puerto Vallarta COVID questions answered
The pictures in this post were taken on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
Yes, I did hear that the USA now requires a negative COVID test upon entry and this really made my blog explode with questions! Lots of Americans who are currently in PV and the Nayarit area are now struggling to find resources on where to get a COVID test in Puerto Vallarta.
In this post, I will share this information, together with prices. I will also give you a glimpse of what the current situation in Puerto Vallarta is. Have a safe trip and get in touch when you are in the area.
For those of you who are new to this blog, I would like to make a little introduction about me. I currently live in Nuevo Vallarta but I run a destination marketing campaign for Sayulita, San Pancho, Punta de Mita, and Puerto Vallarta. Meaning, I go to these places at least thrice a week. Before moving to Nuevo Vallarta, I was living in Sayulita for 2 years.
We live in strange times and while there are many resources about Puerto Vallarta COVID travel all over the Internet, I just needed to prove my credibility since there are lots of wrong information on the Internet. As always, this blog thrives on reader questions so if you have anything that you need in general, regarding Riviera Nayarit and Mexico travel, please feel free to get in touch with me via Instagram, @psimonmyway.
Living in Nuevo Vallarta gives me the opportunity to get a glimpse of both Jalisco and Nayarit states (I am literally on the border of these two Mexican states). I was just here and did not travel out of the country from January 2020 (after my month-long Peru trip) so I had the chance to see how Mexico was handling the COVID situations in our area.
I ask you to always consider your source, especially when it comes to COVID. In this article, I will guide you through whatever you need to know about COVID in Puerto Vallarta. I will also give you a list of hospitals where you can take a COVID test in PV. I’ve called them one by one to gather information – mind you, they all have different pricing.
But first, I want to share with you life in Puerto Vallarta right now, based on my visit yesterday, January 19, 2021. Regardless of these taped areas, I was still able to go around and sit in restaurants and bars.
Is Puerto Vallarta open for tourism?
Honestly, these days, the word lockdown is becoming more and more confusing. I spent a whole day in PV yesterday and everything is open. I was able to eat at a restaurant in the Malecon with my roommate and we were also able to move around freely. Of course, masks are mandatory when entering establishments. You can, however, be free and not wear a mask when you’re just walking the streets. Puerto Vallarta has a very open layout so we’re always outdoors here. I am saying this because, in Mexican cities like Oaxaca City, the police will approach you if you’re not wearing a mask while walking the streets.
As I am building my things to do in Puerto Vallarta list slowly, I had to frequent PV. Everything is pretty normal except that they closed the seating areas in the Malecon, barricaded by yellow police tapes. This is normally open as the stairway to the beach is in this area but right now, it’s closed. You can still go to the beach but you need to go a longer way, which is not through the statues by the Malecon. I really hope I am explaining this well but see the picture below.
The plaza is also taped. I think Puerto Vallarta is just closing the Malecon areas where the people always gather because of the comfortable seats. Public transport is running normally and I still saw a lot of cars around Puerto Vallarta. It actually still looks very busy despite the curfew issued by Jalisco on January 15, 2021.
Puerto Vallarta COVID update
Now on to the more technical Puerto Vallarta COVID update – the state of Jalisco has issued a 10:00 pm curfew for bars and restaurants from January 15 – 31, 2021. I know that most Americans come to Puerto Vallarta for the nightlife but there’s a curfew for the whole month of January. Don’t worry, there are only 11 days left, however, changes vary. We are so used to the government’s last-minute lockdown/curfew announcements as they always do it on the day of the curfew.
Schools are also suspended until further notice, including work/office transactions that can be done virtually (government/public sector offices). The gathering of large groups is also banned and in Mexico, you have to say this repeatedly even if it’s already a default understanding because of COVID. Mexicans like big gatherings and parties. They are what we call “festejeros.” It’s just part of the Mexican culture, really.
They did not clarify the rules for private homes (Airbnb parties are very rampant here too) but there’s a rule that people over 60 years of age must stay home at all costs. With all these precautions, Jalisco’s government was honest about the results of these implemented lockdowns in the past few months: it did not have a great impact and have “limited results.”
As of January 20, 2021, the state of Jalisco has 61,634 confirmed cases and 7,314 deaths. Below are the business sectors in Puerto Vallarta and their limitations regarding opening:
What can stay open: The health sector, private security, energy, gasoline stations, banking, insurance, notary public, hotels (but not the common areas), public markets, and public transport
What cannot stay open: Corporate offices, professional services, government offices, bars, clubs, parks, zoos, gyms, sports clubs, travel tours, cinemas, museums, casinos,
Businesses with partial restrictions: convenience stores, parking lots need to have 25% capacity, restaurants can only have a 50% capacity until 10:00 pm. Flea markets are also included in this list, which is strange. I will upload my flea market video next week so do subscribe on Youtube to get notified when it’s posted.
Where to get a COVID test in Puerto Vallarta
Many Americans were taken aback by the announcement of the new requirement when entering the United States: a negative COVID test. According to the CDC, the USA requires an antigen or PCR test and does not accept the basic antibodies test.
Here’s a list of the hospitals where to take a COVID test in Puerto Vallarta before departing for the United States. Please note that I called these hospitals one by one to ask for the information. Based on my experience, they change the prices all the time but this is the range.
If your accommodation is located in the Zona Hotelera (about 14 minutes drive from Malecon Puerto Vallarta), then you should take your COVID test in this hospital. You don’t need to call – they accept walk-in. In case you want to schedule an appointment (just to be sure), the phone number is +52 +52 322 226 1010. See Hospital Joya Marina Vallarta’s COVID test prices below:
- PCR: $4,500 ($229.75 USD); results will be released within 24-48 hours.
- Antigen: $1,520 ($77.60 USD); results will be released within an hour
- Antibodies: $2,033 ($104 USD); results will be released within an hour
About 20 minutes from the Malecon, CMQ Premiere has different branches within the Riviera Nayarit (also Bucerias). For COVID testing with CMQ Premiere Puerto Vallarta, you need to set your appointment two days in advance. You may call +52 322 226 6500. The operator will answer and there is an English language option if you don’t speak Spanish. Below are the prices for COVID testing in CMQ Premiere Puerto Vallarta:
- PCR: $3,900 ($199.14 USD); results will be released within 30-32 hours
- Antigen: $1,240 ($63.32 USD); results will be released within 30-32 hours
- Antibodies: $1,170 ($60 USD); results will be released within an hour
About 25 minutes from the Malecon, this hospital is actually highly-rated but they only gave me prices in USD when I called. I asked them if it’s possible to pay in Mexican pesos but they said that they only follow their USD prices and it will depend on the day’s USD to MXN conversion rate. You do not need to set an appointment to get a COVID test in Hospiten Puerto Vallarta. You can walk-in from Monday to Sunday, 8:00 – 6:00 pm. Below are the COVID test prices in USD:
- PCR: $261 USD; results will be released within 24-36 hours
- Antigen: $50 USD; results will be released within 2-3 hours
- Antibodies: $99 USD; results will be released within 2-3 hours
This is just 17 minutes from the Malecon. When I called, they told me that to get your PCR results on time, you need to set an appointment from 9:00 – 1:00 pm but they are usually open until 6:00 pm (Mondays – Saturdays). You may call +52 322 224 2515 for appointments. Below are the COVID test prices for Laboratorio Santo Domingo:
- PCR: $3, 199 MXN ($163.34 USD); results will be released within 24-48 hours
- Antigen: $990 MXN ($51 USD); results will be released in 24 hours
- Antibodies: $990 MXN ($46 USD); results will be released within 2-3 hours
Medasist is the closest to the Malecon. It’s just a 15-minute walk! They accept COVID test appointments from Monday to Sunday, 9:30 am – 7:00 pm except for Sundays when their cut-off is 1:30 pm. To set your appointment, you may call +52 322 223 0656. Below are the COVID test prices at Medasist:
- PCR: $3,100 MXN ($158.28 USD); results will be released within 24 hours
- Antigen: $992 MXN ($50.65 USD); results will be released within 2-3 hours
- Antibodies: $1, 900 MXN ($97 USD)l results will be released within 2-3 hours.
Fortunately, most hospitals in Puerto Vallarta have English-speaking staff so don’t worry if you don’t speak Spanish. Another thing that I observe (since I do monthly COVID tests because I travel a lot around Mexico for work) is that, when you do your COVID test in Puerto Vallarta on the weekends, the results take longer. Like an extra day longer. My advice is for you to only take your tests between Monday – Thursday so you won’t be worried to miss your flight if you don’t get the test results on time.
It is not quite clear if the United States of America only accepts PCR and antigen tests – it really depends. Before booking your flight, you need to ask your airlines which test is accepted in the state you’re flying to. Though I do want to share that I heard that New York accepts antibodies (the lowest form of COVID tests).
Puerto Vallarta COVID travel Frequently Asked Questions
How much is the covid test in Puerto Vallarta?
I know that most of COVID tests in your country is for free but in Mexico, you have to pay for it. That means you have to add it to your Mexico travel budget if you are an American. Hospitals in Puerto Vallarta do not have the same prices but they are all in the same range. Please do not pay more than $200 USD (this is the max). The COVID test prices in PV always change (based on my monthly visits). Always make sure to ask for an official receipt.
Does the United States accept antibodies test, antigen, or PCR?
As per CDC, the USA accepts antigen and PCR COVID test results only. However, the doctors here told me that I should ask the airline I booked my US tickets with. Apparently, the requirement per state is different.
How many days or hours should I take the COVID test before flying to the United States?
The USA requires a test 72 hours prior to arrival. When in Mexico, make sure to add an extra day as there are always delays here. This way, you won’t need to worry about missing your flight.
Are restaurants open in Puerto Vallarta?
From January 15 – 31, 2021, restaurants in Puerto Vallarta can only open up to 10:00 pm. I don’t know if they are going to extend this curfew but in Mexico, you’ll just never know! For now, this is the info that I have regarding restaurant openings in Puerto Vallarta.