In preparation for the election coming up, alcohol sales will be banned this weekend in Cancun. The ban will also apply to the rest of the state of Quintana Roo, which includes the Riviera Maya area as well. Beginning at midnight on Saturday, June 4, the alcohol ban will last until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, and will apply to all establishments outside of the designated tourist areas.
The temporary ban on alcohol sales is used as a way to maintain order when elections in the area are taking place. The most recent ban prior to this one took place back in April during the Revocation of the Mandate of President Andre Emanuel Lopez Obrador’s consultation. This was essentially a vote to determine whether or not the current government in power would remain in office.
This ban is being implemented due to a very important election that will determine the Governor of Quintana Roo. In addition, 25 members of the State Congress will be chosen, 15 elected based on the majority vote, and 10 selected based on proportional representation. Because these elections are so important, and due to the fact that there are multiple parties competing, disorder is always a possibility and it is the hope of officials that the alcohol ban will help prevent that.
All establishments in the Cancun Hotel Zone are exempt from the ban on alcohol, as are any restaurants and bars in other tourist areas in Cancun and the Riviera Maya. The Secretary of Finance and Planning of the State of Quintana Roo pointed out that only businesses in licensed tourist areas are allowed to sell alcohol, stating that “the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for all commercial establishments, with the exception of businesses located in tourist areas with an alcoholic beverage license in restaurant and restaurant-bar type establishments.”
Tourists will not be able to buy alcohol from stores this weekend, even in tourist areas, as the exception only applies to restaurants and restaurant/bar-type establishments. Visitors should make preparations prior to Saturday if they wish to consume alcohol outside of these types of businesses. Stores include both grocery stores and convenience stores, regardless of where they are located.
The hours that alcohol sales are permitted in Cancun were just recently extended after being limited throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, restaurants have permission from local authorities to serve alcohol until 1:00 a.m. Establishments that are considered restaurant/bar are able to serve even longer, with permission to operate and sell alcohol until 3:00 a.m. On Sundays, the cut-off time for serving alcoholic beverages for all establishments is 11:00 p.m.
While there are not as many tourists visiting Cancun and the Riviera Maya area as there were at the beginning of the year, hotels in the Cancun Hotel Zone are still maintaining high occupancy even during the slow season. Millions of tourists visited Cancun for spring break this year and millions more spent their Easter holiday break in the Riviera Maya area. Through the first few months of the year these visitors filled hotels in the area to nearly 100 percent capacity.
Many people visit Cancun for the beautiful Mexican Caribbean beaches, the history and culture, and the exciting nightlife. There are many popular bars and clubs in the Cancun Hotel Zone so visitors wishing to have a good time will still have plenty of options this weekend. The important thing is to avoid the crowds related to the election in order to continue to enjoy all of the fun and excitement there is to be had in Cancun.
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