The federal government has officially deemed beach tourism a nonessential activity, ordering state and local governments to close beaches in an attempt to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell told a press conference on Thursday that the closure order applies to every beach in the country until the end of the national emergency on April 30.
“The order has been given. It obliges state and municipal authorities to take coherent measures and suspend tourist activity on beaches, be it international or local tourism,” he said.
Other states had already begun to close beaches earlier this week, including Baja California Sur, Baja California and Oaxaca, where local authorities closed down the country’s only nudist beach, Zipolite.
Like beaches throughout Mexico, Zipolite is a big draw during the Semana Santa (Easter Week) vacation in April.
Authorities in Tamaulipas and Sonora had also begun to close beaches before the order, and Guerrero announced Wednesday that its beaches would be closed beginning Thursday.
“The state government makes this delicate decision in an unsatisfactory setting: we have had to choose between protecting life and suspending economic activity,” the state government said in a press release.
It said that the economy will always be recoverable as long as the human factor still exists and urged citizens to stay at home and practice other methods of social distancing.
It remains to be seen if there will be enforcement.
Authorities in the state have also canceled flights and cruises and closed hotels and other gathering places to avoid people assembling in groups.