Photo Credit: Vane Nunes
Cancun And Tulum Could Face Lockdown As COVID Cases Surge
Officials on Mexico’s Caribbean coast are considering returning to lockdown as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
Gov. Carlos Joaquín says the state of Quintana Roo, home to resorts like Cancun, Cozumel, and Tulum, has seen five weeks of increases in cases, adding that the increase in tourism around Easter played a significant role in the surge.
“We knew that there were large risks during Easter week, that there could be a greater number of infections. Unfortunately, that came to pass,” Joaquín said.
While the rest of Mexico has seen a decline in cases, Quintana Roo has not. A majority of the state’s economy depends on tourism where there have not been any travel bans or testing requirements for entry.
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows the state has reported more than 25,200 positive COVID-19 cases and more than 2,600 deaths to date, but there are reports that this number doesn’t even scratch the surface because Mexico does so little testing, according to a report from the Associated Press.
“It is regrettable to see how undisciplined things have become,” said Lucio Hernández Gutiérrez, who oversees the Office of Public Security for the state of Quintana Roo. “It was truly frustrating to see hundreds of people walking around without face masks,” noting that tourists were the worst offenders.”
As of now, Quintana Roo is currently operating on the orange level of the country’s COVID-19 Traffic Monitoring System. This means that the state is allowing essential and nonessential labor activities with some limitations. Activities in public spaces are allowed with restrictions, and activities in closed areas have come to a halt. Tourist activities and hotels and restaurants are currently capped at 50% occupancy.
If things take a turn for the worse and the state goes into the red zone, the state will go into lockdown, which means only essential activities will be allowed and people will be restricted to a walk around their homes during the day.