COVID-19 case counts are reportedly up in Mexico’s state of Quintana Roo, leaving the popular tourist destination no choice but to roll back to an orange epidemiological light.
Mexico uses a traffic-light monitoring system – ranging from red, orange, yellow and green – that the country's 32 states must meet before entering a new phase of their reopening plan.
Quintana Roo, home to vacation hot spots like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, was in a “yellow” phase for several months, allowing hotels, restaurants, theme parks and attractions to operate at 60 per cent capacity.
Returning to Orange on Monday (Feb. 8) now limits capacity in venues even further. Hotels, for example, can now only operate at 30 per cent capacity.
Currently, northern Cancun and Riviera Maya region are in an orange phase, but Governor Carlos Joaquin says the entire state will soon join them.
“We spent two months in yellow and with the prospect of having better conditions in the recovery, but it wasn’t like that,” said the Quintana Roo governor, as reported by Riviera Maya News.
Governor Joaquin said adjustments will be made in terms of activity and business capacity as a result of the heightened restrictions, adding that people, too, will need to adapt to new habits.
The enhanced restrictions may be linked to a surge in vacation travel as tourists flocked to Mexican beach destinations over Christmas and New Years.
From the month of January to February 5, Quintana Roo reported 3,176 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to local health authorities.
It was the highest case count recorded in such a short period of time since last June and July when 3,114 cases were confirmed.
Canada’s major carriers, in consultation with the Government of Canada, have suspended service to Mexico until April 30.
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