The coronavirus risk level in Mexico City will remain at “orange light” high for a seventh consecutive week between August 10 and 16 but some further nonessential businesses will be permitted to reopen.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told a virtual press conference that coronavirus cases and deaths in the capital are trending downwards albeit slowly and that hospital occupancy has declined slightly.
She also said that Mexico City’s Covid-19 positivity rate – the percentage of tests that come back positive – is currently at 27% whereas earlier in the year it was above 50%. However, ramped-up testing could have had an influence on that improvement.
Although the situation has improved, Sheinbaum said it was difficult to be optimistic while the pandemic continues and people are still dying of Covid-19.
Mexico City, the country’s coronavirus epicenter, has recorded 77,790 confirmed cases and 9,246 deaths.
It has the largest current outbreak among the country’s 32 states with almost 6,000 active cases, according to federal Health Ministry estimates.
After announcing last Friday that restaurants could extend their operating hours while maintaining a maximum of 30% capacity, Sheinbaum said today that bars, cantinas and other entertainment venues will be permitted to reopen next week.
However, the mayor said they will be required to tweak their business model and operate as if they are restaurants, meaning that they must offer food and table service to patrons.
“What we’re saying is that these businesses can change … to [become] restaurants, fondas [cheap diners]. To do that they have to register with the city government, permits will be given to them immediately but they have to comply with the same [safety] measures as restaurants,” Sheinbaum said.
The mayor also announced that enclosed and open-air swimming pools will be allowed to reopen starting Monday and that museums will be permitted to welcome back visitors as of Tuesday. Like restaurants, museums must limit entry to 30% of their normal capacity, Sheinbaum said.
She also said that cinemas can reopen at 30% capacity starting next Wednesday but theaters must remain closed.