Tuesday, June 25, 2024

After long weekend crowds, more beach closures possible in Acapulco

The mayor of Acapulco has suggested that beaches could be closed for the rest of November after hordes of tourists descended on the resort city over the Revolution Day long weekend.

Adela Román Campo said in an interview that the closure of Acapulco’s beaches was a possibility, explaining that such a move might be needed to ensure that the city can welcome visitors during the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

The mayor said she would personally push for beaches to be closed for the remainder of November but noted that she would have to follow federal and state guidelines.

Román said that many people don’t wear face masks or maintain a healthy distance from each other while on vacation in Acapulco, which leads Guerrero for both confirmed coronavirus cases and Covid-19 deaths.

Plenty of such behavior was on display last weekend as approximately 70,000 tourists from Mexico City and states including Puebla, México state and Morelos let their hair down in the Pacific coast resort city.

Many of Acapulco’s most popular beaches were packed on Saturday and Sunday and hotel occupancy across the city was just below the permitted 50%. Eleven establishments were shut down because they were not following health measures, the newspaper El Universal reported, and authorities intervened to stop a wedding at which 300 guests were expected to be in attendance.

Governor Héctor Astudillo said Monday that visitor numbers in Acapulco over the weekend exceeded authorities’ expectations.

The influx of tourists occurred despite the state’s implementation of stricter coronavirus restrictions at the start of last week.

Announcing 12 new measures to slow the spread of the virus, Astudillo said that if there is a large new outbreak, the state wouldn’t be able to receive tourists over the end of year holiday season – the same concern raised by the Acapulco mayor on Monday.

That would be a big blow for the economy in Guerrero, whose beaches in destinations such as Acapulco and Zihuatanejo are popular with tourists during winter.

The southern state, currently “high” risk orange on the federal government’s coronavirus stoplight map, has recorded 23,030 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, 44% of which were detected in Acapulco. Guerrero has recorded 2,312 Covid-19 deaths, approximately half of which occurred in the Pacific coast resort city.

Acapulco’s hospitals came under intense pressure earlier in the pandemic, prompting Mayor Román to say that she was “deeply concerned” about the situation and urging people to take the virus seriously.

Meanwhile, the national accumulated case tally increased to 1,009,396 on Monday with 2,874 new cases reported by the federal Health Ministry. The official death toll rose to 98,861 with 319 additional fatalities registered.

Both the case tally and death toll are widely believed to be significant undercounts, mainly due to Mexico’s low testing rate.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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