The Mexico state of Sonora has been added to the list of prohibited states.
Only preapproved mission-essential travel is authorized to this and all of the other states listed as prohibited including Michoacan, Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Durango, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Jalisco and Zacatecas, according to US North Command Force Protection Directive 12-087.
Sonoraâ€™s addition to the banned states affects Marines on station due to the proximity of the state to the Arizona border, as well as, San Luis now being off limits.
In many cases only emergency leave, where a Marine has family in a restricted area will be approved.
All other travel to Mexico, even areas not listed on the prohibited list, must be preapproved through the chain of command.
â€œNo ifâ€™s, andâ€™s or butâ€™s about it, you have to route the correct approval package through S-1 and your chain of command,â€ said Sgt. Rene Villalobos, with station Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron administration.
The directive also addresses cities and states where service members should use extreme caution when traveling to or through.
Air travel is the suggested form of transportation in and out of Mexico when visiting family or vacationing. In reference to vacationing, some resort heavy cities, like Acapulco, it is highly recommended to stay within the immediate area of the resort and avoid using ground transportation.
Cruises to Mexico are still authorized however; Marines and their families may not get off the ship at stops in restricted areas.
For more information on proper procedure for requesting travel approval reference the above directive, USNORTHCOM FP Directive 12-087 and speak with your administration section.