Due to a massive increase in tourism mobility over the current winter season (in the Northern hemisphere), the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico has worsened, prompting many states to issue COVID-19 related restrictions to help reduce the spread of the virus and hospital occupancy rate.
Quintana Roo, the Mexican State home to the internationally celebrated Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum has been ranked as “Red” in the Mexican epidemiology alert system, a.k.a., Traffic Light System.
While most countries in the world have remained sealed to tourists, since the pandemic struck Cancun has opened its doors to more than 2.9 million international tourists, 2.7 million from the United States, the country with the highest death toll and positive COVID-19 cases in the world.
Only in December, Cancun, Quintana Roo, saw 1.6 million tourists among nationals and foreigners.
The state depends heavily on tourist money. However, there is no baseline data that supports that a country can have such a level of openness without severe epidemiology consequences, as of yet.
Masses of people flocking to hospitals is not the only concern Mexican authorities have now. Starting on Feb. 9, businesses will be allowed to operate only at 30% maximum capacity. Same capacity will be observed at beaches, parks, cinemas, theaters, shopping centers, casinos, hair salons, factories and places of worship.
Also, due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, some governments are currently advising their citizens to avoid Mexico as a winter destination.
For instance, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has suspended all travel to the Caribbean and Mexico due the lack of control of the pandemic.
The country’s main airlines, including Air Canada and WestJet, ended service and organised return flights for stranded Canadians who were vacationing at these areas when the sudden restriction took place.
But Quintana Roo is not the only heavily impacted State. Mexico City is going through a similar epidemiology situation.
Although hospitalizations of Covid-19 patients have seen a reduction in the last few days, the capital of the country will remain “Red” until, at least, February 15.
Hospital occupancy is currently 78%, according to the Mexico City government. But it has been close to 90%.
Although the red light designation will remain in place, department stores and shopping centers will be permitted to open at 20% capacity. All visitors must wear face masks.
Mexico, as a whole, has been seeing more than 1,000 deaths per day during January. Hospital beds, oxygen tanks and intubation drugs are in short supply. The official death toll is now more than 163,000 – the third highest in the world.
Although Mexico was the first country in Latin America to receive and start the vaccination rollout, authorities have managed to administer only 4,365 doses a day.
At the current pace, it would take 10 years to vaccinate the entire population.