Mexico City will remain orange light “high” risk on the federal government’s coronavirus stoplight system next week but some new restrictions will apply due to a further rise in hospitalizations.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced that a prohibition on alcohol sales will take effect in eight of the capital’s 16 boroughs at 6:00 p.m. Friday and remain in place until 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
The so-called ley seca, or dry law, will apply in Gustavo A. Madero, Iztacalco, Iztapalapa, Magdalena Contreras, Miguel Hidalgo, Tlalpan, Tláhuac and Xochimilco this weekend.
“It’s eight boroughs one weekend and the other eight boroughs next weekend,” Sheinbaum said.
Restaurants are permitted to sell alcohol with meals but only until 7:00 p.m. The mayor reiterated that restaurants are only permitted to operate at 30% capacity in indoor dining areas and 40% outdoors. They must close by 10:00 p.m.
Gyms, sports clubs, 10-pin bowling centers, cinemas, theaters, museums, casinos, hair salons, theme parks, shopping centers, department stores and most other nonessential businesses must close at 7:00 p.m.
Such businesses had been permitted to remain open until 10:00 p.m. but the government ordered them to shorten their opening hours until the end of the month.
Sheinbaum said last Friday that bars and cantinas, which were allowed to reopen in August as long as they offered food and table service to customers, would have to close for two weeks starting last Monday. But many in the historic center of the capital have continued to operate.
Sheinbaum said earlier this week that parties, family gatherings and the operation of bars were probably the main cause of higher coronavirus case numbers and hospitalizations.
She said Friday that there were 3,427 coronavirus patients in hospitals in the capital including more than 800 on ventilators. In the Valley of México metropolitan area, there were 4,519 Covid patients in the hospital, Sheinbaum said.
The hospital occupancy level in Mexico City hospitals increased from 42% to 49% between November 12 and 19, the mayor said, adding that as many as 200 new coronavirus patients per day were admitted over the past week.
“If this trend continues until the end of December we’ll have the same hospital occupancy as [the peak in] May,” Sheinbaum said.
As of Thursday, Mexico City had recorded 183,253 confirmed coronavirus cases and 16,677 Covid-19 deaths. Those figures account for 18% and 17%, respectively, of Mexico’s accumulated case tally, which is currently just above 1 million, and death toll, which passed 100,000 on Thursday.