It’s the news everyone’s been waiting for. After months of fluctuating between orange and yellow status on the epidemiological traffic light system, Cancun has finally been given the green light after Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquin announced the northern section of the state will move from a yellow epidemiological light to green starting Monday 11 October.
Proceeding with caution, Governor Joaquin said: “moving to green does not mean the pandemic has ended, only that the contagion curve has decreased.”
He went on to confirm that case numbers have seen a steep decline in many of the most popular tourist destinations, with infections decreasing by 47% in Cozumel, 46% in Cancun, 29% in Isla Mujeres, 28% in Tulum, and 16% in Playa del Carmen.
Relief after months of orange and yellow level restrictions
For an area that relies so heavily on tourism, this news of a return to green light status has been welcomed with relief. While Covid cases rose over the last few months, hotels, restaurants, and local attractions had to restrict visitor numbers to meet the strictly enforced capacity limits that came with yellow and orange light status, causing financial strain on businesses in the region.
Orange status meant that:
- There was a reduction in community mobility.
- Capacity in hotels and restaurants was limited to 50%.
- Masks were mandatory in all public spaces.
Yellow status meant that:
- Capacity in hotels and restaurants was limited to 60%.
- Masks were mandatory in enclosed public spaces and on public transport and were recommended in outdoor spaces where social distancing couldn’t be maintained.
What restrictions does green light status bring?
Green status on the epidemiological risk traffic light system will bring with it as close to normal activity as possible while still being in a pandemic situation.
One of the restrictions in both orange and yellow status has been that most nightclubs in Cancun had to remain closed. A move to green means many of these legendary vacation nightspots can reopen, which will be an added incentive to tourists keen to revisit the city. Green status will also mean that more visitors are able to visit the hugely significant Mayan ruins in the region, including Chichen Itza, as they will now be able to increase their capacity.
Green status has the least restrictive limits and will mean that:
- There are no mobility restrictions.
- Most businesses and attractions can operate at 80% capacity. This includes hotels, restaurants, theme parks, golf courses, shopping malls, and movie theaters.
- Casinos can open to 60% capacity
- Nightclubs can open with up to 50% capacity
- Masks are recommended in enclosed public spaces and are mandatory on public transport.
Which towns are included in the green status area?
Although this is great news, the new green light status only applies in the northern section of Quintana Roo state. This includes the major tourist destination of Cancun, as well as the following destinations:
- Isla Mujeres
- Puerto Morelos
A small increase in the contagion level in southern Quintana Roo state means they will stay on yellow status for the week from October 11 to 17. This includes the popular tourist town of Bacalar. However, Governor Carlos Joaquin did say that the southern section of the state has the required conditions to also reach green light status.
As reported in The Cancun Sun earlier this week, Cancun has smashed all previous records for September visitors. A move to green status can only mean good things for the future of tourism in the area – and the potential for a record-breaking winter season to come.
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