Drastically Increased Numbers And Omicron Variant Prompt Concern For Governor
Carlos Joaquin, the Governor of Quintana Roo has urged locals and tourists alike to remain respectful to the protocols currently in place to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
With the winter season beginning, the region is expecting record breaking numbers to flood in for some Christmas and New Year sunshine. With millions expected over the coming weeks, the possibility of a drastic increase in infection is a plausible concern.
Mexico currently functions under a so called Epidemiological Traffic Light System. Each state is designated with a color based on its current infection rate and hospitalization. Depending on the color designation, the states can operate under descending scale of restrictions.
Under red, “only essential economic activities will be allowed, and people will also be allowed to go for a walk around their homes during the day”. On the other end of the spectrum, when a state is under green “all activities are allowed, including school ones”.
Currently, the vast majority of the Mexican States, including Quintana Roo, are designated as green light areas. But with the approaching crowds flooding the state from across the world, the Governor has warned of the possibility of a regression to yellow.
Although businesses would not have to close, a return to yellow would see a decrease in capacity for any indoor facilities. With hotels anticipating the real possibility of 100% capacity over the coming weeks and months, the loss in revenue would be a disappointing turn of events.
A higher percentage of the travelers typically heading to the region will be coming from Europe this year. With the increased restrictions in many of the popular tourist spots across the Atlantic, a large portion of that customer base have realigned their sights on the Mexican Caribbean, which offers a higher degree of freedom in their vacations at the moment.
But with the increase, comes an even high chance of the new Omicron variant cementing itself firmly in Mexico. Most of western Europe is currently battling the new variant with a return to lockdowns, as well as border closings and other daily measures.
Taking this into account, the Governor is advising families to avoid meeting in groups of more than 10 people, and suggesting that wherever possible, the meetings take place in an outdoor setting. He added that he did not want families to forgo Christmas and New Year festivities, but stated “enjoy them, enjoy your family, but with great care, great caution and trying to take care of yourselves to avoid falling back into the growth of infections”.
The usual suggestions of social distancing and mask wearing in closed public spaces are still recommended to help, especially as events like the Guadalupe-Reyes marathon take place in the area. Concentrated instances like the marathon risk an even higher possibility of being “super-spreader” events, and extra effort should be put forth in these circumstances to help prevent any significant changes.
Stressing the importance of avoiding the yellow light designation, he said, “we cannot go back. If we relax the health measures there are possibilities of returning to the yellow light. We do not want that, and much less, during this season in which the occupation rate is growing, the number of people arriving is greater and greater, which means success for our different destinations”.
Travelers are always encouraged to keep abreast of any new developments surrounding covid regulations and entry requirements before traveling.
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