With great fanfare, 41 hotels in Cancún, Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, reopened on Monday and welcomed their first guests.
The Grand at Moon Palace hotel greeted a mother and her son by having her flip a giant light switch from “off” to “on” accompanied by mariachis and fireworks as the hotel’s staff applauded their arrival.
Roberto Cintrón Gómez, president of the region’s hotel association, announced that direct flights from several cities in the United States are arriving at the Cancún International Airport, and hotels are seeing a number of reservations for the second half of June.
However, it’s not business as usual just yet. Hotel occupancy will remain at around 15% for the rest of the month but is projected to approach 30% by August.
As of yesterday, hotels in Cancún reported 11.9% occupancy, with 13.8% in Isla Mujeres and 8.2% in Puerto Morelos.
In Cancún 800 restaurants have reopened at 30% of their capacity as per state health guidelines after staff were trained in sanitary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Nightclubs, casinos and beaches remain closed.
Despite the fact that the federal government has painted the entire country red, signifying that every state is at maximum risk due to the pandemic, the state governor and the health ministry have adopted a regional alternative to the federal “stoplight” system that allows for the easing of coronavirus restrictions in the northern part of the state where tourism has been designated an essential sector of the economy.
The move to reopen hotels has drawn criticism from some who call the decision irresponsible, claiming that the tourist destinations are where the majority of the state’s coronavirus cases have been located and that the government is caving in to economic pressure from the hotel sector rather than taking into consideration the health of its citizens.
As of June 8, Quintana Roo had 2,197 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and had recorded 422 deaths.