Stricter coronavirus restrictions will take effect in Mexico City on Monday while tighter rules in place in Jalisco for the past two weeks were eased on Friday.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said the capital will remain at the orange light “high” risk level on the federal government’s stoplight system next week but nevertheless announced some new restrictions due to a recent rise in hospitalizations of coronavirus patients.
Bars and cantinas that were allowed to reopen in August by tweaking their business model and operating as restaurants must close for two weeks starting Monday.
Gyms, museums, 10-pin bowling centers, cinemas, theaters and casinos, currently permitted to remain open at limited capacity until 10:00 p.m., will have to close at 7:00 p.m. as of Monday and at least until the end of the month.
All events that seek to gather large numbers of people including concerts and conferences remain banned as has been the case since late March. Professional sports are only permitted behind closed doors.
Sheinbaum said Thursday that the number of new patients hospitalized in Mexico City on a daily basis had increased from 20 to 100 over the previous five days.
The capital has been Mexico’s coronavirus epicenter since the beginning of the pandemic, and has recorded far more confirmed cases and deaths than any of the other 31 states.
As of Thursday, Mexico City’s official case tally stood at 175,946 and the Covid-19 death toll was 15,997. The capital leads the country for active cases with 12,948, according to federal Health Ministry estimates.
• In Jalisco, authorities determined that stricter coronavirus restrictions that were introduced on October 30 had been effective and decided to ease them as of Friday.
Shopping centers, department stores, markets and restaurants were given the green light to operate until 11:00 p.m. and the resumption of normal public transit services was authorized.
State government social development official Anna Bárbara Casillas said the extension of business operating hours – most establishments have been required to close at 7:00 p.m. for the past two weeks – will avoid crowding.
Places of worship are also allowed to hold services as of today albeit with a reduced capacity and town squares have reopened.
Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro said Thursday that the tighter restrictions implemented late last month “worked very well,” explaining that new case numbers declined and as a result active case numbers did too.
The state has recorded 102,165 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to state government data, and 4,402 Covid-19 deaths. The former figure is almost three times higher than the number reported by the federal government because it includes results from rapid tests and private labs and clinics.
Jalisco currently has 2,070 active cases, according to federal Health Ministry estimates.
• The Congress of Chihuahua – one of just two “maximum” risk red light states – approved a law on Thursday that makes the use of face masks mandatory.
The maximum fine for citizens not wearing a mask in public places is 434 pesos (US $21), while for people not using one in their workplace it’s 1,303 pesos (US $64). Mask scofflaws could face 12 hours’ jail time if they refuse to accept a fine.
Money raised from the fines will be used to purchase medical supplies.
Morena party lawmakers voted against the law, which was proposed by Governor Javier Corral, on the grounds that it could lead to human rights violations, arbitrary detentions and the excessive use of force.
Chihuahua has recorded 31,884 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to state government data, and 2,588 Covid-19 deaths.
More than half of the cases were detected in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, which also leads the northern state for Covid-19 deaths.
The Chihuahua health system has been under intense pressure in recent weeks as many hospitals fill up with coronavirus patients.
In an attempt to drive new case numbers down, the state government announced a curfew on nonessential commercial activities last week that will remain in place until at least November 19.
• Nationally, the official coronavirus case tally and Covid-19 death toll are approaching 1 million and 100,000, respectively.
The former rose to 991,835 on Thursday with 5,658 new cases reported while the latter increased to 97,056 with 626 additional fatalities.