Mexico’s Riviera Maya eases covid-19 restrictions ahead of spring break

The Mexican state of Quintana Roo is softening its coronavirus restrictions following a decrease in confirmed covid-19 cases in the area, officials announced Thursday on Twitter.

The entire state, which includes the major tourist destinations of Cancún, Tulum and Playa del Carmen, will begin to permit hotels, restaurants, shops, theaters and theme parks to operate at 60 percent capacity next week. Previous limits on hotel and restaurant capacities were 30 percent.

Quintana Roo’s stoplight alert system, which is assessed weekly on Thursdays and takes effect on the following Monday, was lowered from orange to yellow status.

The news comes just before Mexico’s busy spring break season and despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s January warning for Americans not to visit Mexico because of “very high” levels of the coronavirus. New U.S. entry restrictions that require a negative coronavirus test result of all arrivals were also mentioned in the CDC warning, which remains at a highest-possible Level 4.

“Travelers should avoid all travel to Mexico,” the CDC’s Mexico travel warning states. “Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time.”

Activities limited to 50 percent capacity include public transit and casinos. Masks are still required in public, bars and nightclubs remain closed, and public consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Public beaches are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Carlos Joaquín, Quintana Roo’s governor, tweeted late Thursday that allowing parties would be detrimental to the state’s efforts to achieve a lower green-level status. Other popular tourist areas included in the state’s ease of restrictions are Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. The land border between the United States and Mexico remains closed despite Americans’ ability to fly into Mexico.

According to previous reporting by The Washington Post, tourism to the area has increased by 23 percent when compared to 2019, as American travelers banned from other regions decide to vacation in Mexico, which has prioritized U.S. tourism. Travelers seeking an escape from the pandemic have sought out Tulum and Cancún’s festivals and parties, which in the fall and winter months were linked to coronavirus outbreaks.

Winter’s rising covid-19 cases peaked in mid-January and have now begun trending downward globally, according to coronavirus tracking by The Post. Mexico has had more than 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 182,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Read more:

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