Coronavirus
An empty restaurant in Acapulco. An empty restaurant in Acapulco.

Economic reopening begins in Guerrero’s 3 tourist destinations

Acapulco, Zihuatanejo and Taxco prepare to welcome visitors

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The Guerrero tourist destinations of Acapulco, Zihuatanejo and Taxco are ready to welcome visitors after the governor of Guerrero approved the reopening of hotels, restaurants and beaches with certain restrictions, state authorities announced Wednesday.

After three months of lockdown, hotels and restaurants can now operate at 30% capacity and beaches are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for running, walking and swimming.

Warehouses, shopping malls and churches can also reopen. Parks, athletic fields and zoos can now be visited at 25% of their capacity, and barbershops and beauty salons can open by appointment only.

The move comes in anticipation of Guerrero’s transition from a red, or maximum risk designation on the federal government’s color-coded coronavirus “stoplight” map, to orange, or high risk, when the map is updated on Friday. 

In a message posted to social media, Governor Héctor Astudillo announced that the decision to reopen was reached after consulting with the federal government, businesses and social organizations.  

“The opening will be in observance of the protocols in accordance with the trend that may place us at the epidemiological orange traffic light of the federal government,” he announced.

Guerrero Health Minister Carlos de la Peña reiterated that changing to orange does not mean that the coronavirus crisis has ended and health protocols will remain in place.

Earlier this week, businesses in Acapulco removed the protective plywood some had installed on doors and windows and hung banners announcing their reopening. “Thank you very much for your support and solidarity, for helping our people during the confinement, we are back,” read the banner at the entrance to the Krystal Beach Hotel.

Restaurants began deep cleaning and rearranging tables to accommodate diners and conform with social distancing regulations.

Juan Campos Baños, president of a beach workers union in Pie de la Cuesta, Acapulco, said the reopening has been met with both enthusiasm and uncertainty among workers in the tourism sector.  

“We do not know if tourists will come. The economy was badly hurt during this break due to confinement,” he said. “It’s been almost three months without working, without money. Informal businesses have also been affected, as have waiters, those who offer horseback riding on the beach and people who give massages.”

For those businesses who do reopen, owners will have to purchase the supplies necessary to meet government health protocols, such as antibacterial gel, face masks and sanitary doormats. Those who don’t have the resources to make such an investment will have to remain closed, he said.

“We do not know what awaits us, but we have to start little by little,” Campos said. “What we do not want is to enter the red light again.” 

As of Wednesday, Guerrero had recorded 5,571 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 900 deaths.

Sources: Reforma (sp), El Sol de México (sp), El Sur Acapulco (sp), La Jornada (sp)

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