Most coronavirus mitigation restrictions are expected to remain in place in Mexico City until June 15, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said on Wednesday, but some industries will be permitted to resume operations from the start of next month.
Presenting a plan setting out a gradual reopening of the economy, Sheinbaum said that “red light” restrictions stipulated by the federal government’s color-coded stoplight system are unlikely to be lifted in the capital before the middle of next month.
Mexico City is the epicenter of Mexico’s Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 15,000 confirmed cases and 1,452 deaths, according to official statistics.
Sheinbaum said that Mexico City will continue to be classified as a “red light” state while hospitals in the capital are at or above 65% of their capacity to treat Covid-19 patients. Data presented by the federal Health Ministry on Tuesday showed that 74% of general care beds set aside for coronavirus patients and 66% of those with ventilators are currently occupied.
Although most restrictions are predicted to remain in place throughout the first half of next month, Mexico City-based automakers, construction companies, miners and brewers will be able to resume operations starting June 1 provided they follow measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Sheinbuam said that parks in the capital will also open that day but only for exercise purposes and only at 30% capacity.
Once hospital occupancy levels drop below 65%, Mexico City will transition to the “orange light” stage and once levels are below 50%, the “yellow light” phase will begin, the mayor said.
The hoy no circula, or no-drive day, restrictions currently in place for all residents regardless of the age of their vehicle will be lifted once the capital has been given the “orange light.”
More businesses and industries will be allowed to resume operations and some small events will be permitted during the period.
Once the epidemiological stoplight switches to yellow, more people will be allowed into parks and other public places and citizens considered vulnerable to Covid-19 due to their age or existing health problems will no longer be advised to stay at home all the time.
Marking a complete return to the so-called “new normal,” the green light” stage won’t start until the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients has been on the wane for at least a month.
Sheinbaum predicted that won’t occur until August, meaning that students will not return to school and other educational institutes until the start of the new academic year in that month.
However, restaurants, hotels, cinemas and theaters will likely be able to open at 30-50% capacity in July, she said.
The use of masks on public transit will remain obligatory even when the capital reaches the “green light” stage and residents will also be required to wear them in places that attract large crowds.
Just over 3,000 coronavirus cases are currently considered active in Mexico City, an increase of almost 900 compared to a week ago.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said Sunday that the spread of Covid-19 had stabilized in the Valley of México but predicted that the number of coronavirus patients in intensive care in metropolitan area would peak on Tuesday of next week.