Good News For Tourists As Infection Rate Lowers In Cancun
Visitors to Cancun have reason to be optimistic as the orange level designation on Mexico’s epidemiological traffic light system was dropped to yellow for Quintana Roo. The decision was made on Thursday during an announcement from the Quintana Roo Governor. The switch will take place on Sunday the 7th of February for one week at least.
Quintana Roo governor, Carlos Joaquín, made the announcement via the state YouTube channel and sent a message of solidarity to locals and visitors alike. While he stated that the infection rate had lowered enough to warrant a loosening of restrictions, the battle was not over, and that care is required from all to ensure a return to orange or even red does not happen.
“We must remain vigilant”, Joaquin said. “Just because we have reached the yellow level, does not mean we can’t return to orange. We must continue to take care of ourselves”.
However, his tone echoed his past videos in the sense that regardless of what happens, the economic recovery must not be halted, making a clear statement of intention going forward.
“Let’s continue with the economic recovery process” was the Governor’s resounding message. “We (Quintana Roo) are above the average rate of economic development. We have managed to recover almost all of the jobs, create new ones, increase investment in the area, and overseen many new public works projects.”
The news will be huge for hotels and restaurants in the area. A shift into yellow means that the maximum capacity for hotels is now at 85%. Restaurants and bars can also have 85% in their open spaces. Indoor venues will still be limited to 70%, although it is currently unclear how much that is being enforced.
For tourists, the change may be negligible. Many of the hotels frequented by revelers to the region already had permission to go above and beyond the capacity limits in the orange designation. It’s unclear if they will still be allowed that permission in yellow. If they were, it would almost certainly be pushing 100% operational capacity.
An uptick in arrivals is likely as many tourists (although not as many as anticipated) changed plans or avoided Cancun when the orange level was announced. So those arriving in the next week or so should expect to have some crowds.
Travelers were reminded by the Governor to respect the sanitary suggestions that help greater infection rates occur. Simple things like washing hands frequently, sticking to outdoor locations, using masks when indoors, and social distancing when possible. It was announced last week that agents would be monitoring establishments’ adherence to these sort of measures, although no reports have been released showing trends or suggestion of enforcement.
Cancun and Quintana Roo as a whole have seen high rates of infection in the aftermath of an extremely successful winter season. Millions of visitors enjoying some December and January sun, unfortunately, brought swathes of the most recent highly-infectious variant of COVID, named Omicron.
After sitting at green for almost two months, the state was brought back to a yellow designation. It did little to deter tourists from the region and the rate continued to increase prompting the recent orange level. The state has spent two weeks at orange before the new announcement.
Travelers are strongly advised to follow the basic sanitary suggestions to help keep Cancun in yellow and move back towards green. Restrictions are dynamic, so those hoping to arrive in the coming weeks should keep on top of any potential changes and make backup arrangements in the case of an infection.
Travel insurance should be at the top of the list for those traveling anywhere, especially as COVID continues to affect the tourism industry.
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