Authorities in Quintana Roo announced that “red light” coronavirus restrictions will apply in the southern half of the state next week due to an increase in case numbers and high occupancy levels in hospitals.
Restrictions will tighten in the municipalities of Felipe Carillo Puerto, José María Morelos, Bacalar and Othón P. Blanco, where the state capital Chetumal is located.
Hotels, restaurants and theme parks in the four municipalities are among the businesses that will only be permitted to operate at 15% capacity. Offices will be permitted to open with 25% of their regular workforce while the “red light” restrictions remain in place but bars, nightclubs, cinemas and theaters must close.
Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín said that the reimplementation of stricter restrictions in the state’s south was necessary because of the high number of cases and limited health infrastructure.
The Caribbean coast state was allocated an “orange light” on the federal government’s current “stoplight” map, used to indicate the risk of coronavirus infection, but Quintana Roo authorities issue their own risk assessment every Thursday.
While the south of the state will move back into the red next week, the north, which includes the popular tourist destinations of Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, will remain on “orange light” restrictions between July 13 and 19.
Hotel occupancy rates in the tourism-dependent state are still very low but Quintana Roo Tourism Minister Marisol Vanegas said Thursday that it’s predicted they will increase to 60% in the final month of the year.
“It’s already being estimated that we’ll have occupancy of about 60% or perhaps a little higher in December,” she said. “This means that we’ll have jobs for a lot of people in the state.”
The tourism industry reopened in Quintana Roo just over a month ago despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but hotels must operate at a reduced capacity.
The state has recorded 4,763 confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to federal data, of which 955 are currently active.