Federal authorities in Mexico are preparing to announce a new set of protocols for the country’s beaches during the ongoing pandemic but masks will not be mandatory.
The federal office of maritime land zones and coastal environments (Zofematac) director Rodrigo Hernandez Aguilar revealed that a new beach use agreement would be published this week.
The agency’s new guidelines will focus on social distancing, with visitors expected to stay at least 13 feet from each other on the sand and in the water.
Masks will not be required on the beach or in the water, but they will be mandated at beach entry points and in common areas.
“The use of face masks is mandated to arrive at the beach because there could be crowds when you’re entering the beach, you might be leaving a hotel where there are people or traveling on public transit,” Hernandez Aguilar told Mexico News Daily.
“That’s why you use a face mask when you arrive and go onto the beach and also when you leave. Once you’re on the beach you don’t need to use it.”
Hernandez Aguilar said that the enforcement of the new rules will be up to state and municipal governments for the foreseeable future.
In addition, the new guidelines will establish a limit of 40 people per 3,000 square feet, beaches in front of hotels will be required to disinfect hammocks and deck chairs and beachgoers must use a towel over all public amenities.
Hernandez Aguilar said all group recreational and sporting activities would be banned on beaches and anyone found breaking the rules will face fines or even arrest.
In June, hotel officials in Cancun and other popular Mexican tourist destinations announced that only guests would be permitted to use the beaches in the region according to Travel Pulse.
Although these are the recommended guidelines from the Federal government, each state has the power to enforce additional rules including mandatory mask usage and even closing of beaches.
Mexico has confirmed 317,635 cases of covid-19 resulting in 36,906 deaths since the pandemic began according to John Hopkins University.