Quintana Roo Remains Restriction-Free As The Easter Holidays Approaches
Cancun and the rest of Quintana Roo are set to spend yet another week in the safe green zone on Mexico’s epidemiological traffic light system. The announcement means the popular seaside resort will begin in April with no restrictions.
The Governor of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquin, made the announcement in his weekly address on Thursday. In the past, the traffic light decision was the main focal point for these speeches along with some advice for keeping healthy, but the past two weeks it has been a quick comment in the speech before a focus on other aspects of the region.
As with previous speeches, his focus is on economic growth and a return to normality for the tourist sector which is the biggest driver of money in the region. Speaking in Playa del Carmen, he said “we are also very pleased to be able to reiterate the updating of our epidemiological traffic light in green for the week of March 28 to April 3 throughout the state, that gives us growth possibilities in terms of economic development, social development, greater creation and generation of employment.”
He spoke of continuing the basic sanitary efforts as a great crusade, saying “I invite everyone to lead a great crusade, to join this great crusade to take care of our tourists, our visitors, it is they, it is they who generate the best promotion of our state, it is they and they who activate the economy of our state, who help us maintain and have a greater number of jobs for the good of Quintana Roo families.”
The rest focussed on preparation for the arrival of millions of visitors as Easter approaches. In a particular, the press announcement after his speech addressed the security problems being faced by the region. Cancun and the rest of Quintana Roo have been fighting a public image battle as organized crime continues to rear its head in increasingly public places. Violent attacks, including calculated assassinations, have taken place regularly over the past few months, and with over 100 murders since the beginning of 2022, some are asking questions of tourist safety in the region.
The fact remains that the vast majority of tourists in the region have nothing to worry about. The violence rarely touches visitors unless they have got themselves involved in drugs or other potentially dangerous activities, but the statistics are still justifiably worrying some. The press release noted the arrest of multiple criminals in Tulum and Cancun which were successfully carried out using some of the new programs in the state.
The police, National Guard, and Navy are all working together in the region to help maintain order in the tourist zones. It’s hoped that the sheer presence of armed soldiers will help prevent any escalation of violence and the addition of new interconnected surveillance systems should help make police responses preemptive instead of reactionary.
He also touched on the sargassum problem that is beginning to take hold in Quintana Roo. The Navy has begun placing barriers to help stop the unpleasant seaweed from making its way to the shoreline. Just last weekend, as much as 80 tonnes of sargassum washed up on the beaches of Playa del Carmen.
As temperatures increase the volume of sargassum is likely to grow too. It’s hoped that the many precautions in place will stop thousands of vacations from being potentially ruined.
Quintana Roo is also removing the requirement for masks to be worn outdoors. Although all must wear them on public transport, and anyone in the service industry must have them on when serving customers, the majority of people can enjoy even more freedom.
Decisions like this are important going forward as many of Cancun’s biggest competitors in the Caribbean are also loosening their restrictions. The advantage afforded Cancun by the Mexican government is becoming less important by the day, and the city must double down its efforts to ensure it is a world-class destination and not just an open destination.
The state can expect to see further security efforts in the coming months as well as extra work to counteract the sargassum issues. Those intending to visit Cancun in the near future should continue to check in with the local restrictions and the rules in their home country to avoid any disappointment.
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