Cancun is experiencing a record number of new Covid-19 cases. The entire state of Quintana Roo is close to the highest red light warning level and Cancun is currently the epicenter of the newest outbreak.
If the state of Quintana Roo turns to a ‘Red Light’ warning level. new restrictions will come into place that will affect tourists. Under the red light only essential businesses can operate. While the state has identified tourism as an ‘essential business’ restaurants could be limited to only 15% capacity.
The state could also close bars, discos and all retail shops if cases continue to surge.
During the last 24 hours, state health authorities have detected 191 new infections mostly in the Cancun area. Over the last 24 hours, 409 covid tests were conducted with 191 testing positive. With a 47% positivity rate, the state could have many cases that are going undiagnosed.
For the second week, the state will remain in an orange epidemiological light. Governor Carlos Joaquin is warning of a possible return to red.
Joaquin stated that with the continued increase in infections, the state is closer to red than it is yellow and expressed concern about the large increase in Cancun.
“Benito Juárez is highly worrying. It has the highest graph spike in its history since the pandemic began a year ago, “Joaquin announced at his weekly Covid-19 press briefing. “We see an increase and it is very dangerous. A lot of care and attention is required in Benito Juárez, which at the moment, has an increase of 65 percent,” he said.
Benito Juárez is the region in Quintana Roo which includes the resort city of Cancun.
With the massive influx of international tourists and new variants surging in other countries, state officials are asking tourism operators to double their efforts in preventing the spread of Covid-19.
Reports out of Tulum have confirmed multiple businesses including 5 hotels have been shut down for consistently violating Covid-19 protocols. Tulum recorded an increase in cases of over 200% as an influx of tourism over Easter led to a strong surge.
Currently Cancun is operating under the Yellow stop light. This means restaurants, hotels and beaches must operate at no more than 30% of usual capacity. Mobility may also be restricted with the reinstallation of sanitary filters, street closures and various operations to limit road traffic. Authorities will also apply rapid Covid-19 tests and screenings in high risk areas.
Currently masks are required in all public areas of Cancun but enforcement for tourists is one of education rather than punishment. Only those refusing to wear a mask after being reminded could face fines. The use of masks on beaches is not enforced. There is currently a ban in place prohibiting the consumption of alcohol on public beaches but bars and hotels are still serving designated palapas and beach chairs.
Two weeks ago, the Quintana Roo Governor had warned that the state was moving in the wrong direction. Although he pleaded with public to help the state avoid the new warning level, it surpassed the threshold bringing it to an orange warning and continues to see an increase in cases which could even bring it to the highest level red warning.
Cancun registered over 10 million visitors in 2020 despite the pandemic crippling tourism worldwide, the resort city continued to be a top destination and was the first to reopen after worldwide shutdowns.
Quintana Roo has 23,886 confirmed cases and 2,642 deaths
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com