Friday, June 21, 2024

Shop owners attempt to avoid coronavirus closure order

Although the government has ordered nonessential businesses to close, some Mexico City shop owners continue to operate on the sly, opening their doors clandestinely to passersby and whispering an invitation to enter, the newspaper El Universal reports. 

Others simply post their phone numbers on shuttered storefronts, doing business by appointment only. 

A violation of the closure guidelines can bring a fine from city inspectors who enforce the government’s guidelines, but it’s a risk many cash-strapped business owners on streets like Artículo 123 in the city center are willing to take. 

“If they catch us, they will fine us. We have to take care of ourselves,” says Delia, an employee at an appliance store.

Shop owners still need to cover their overhead, despite fines that can reach around US $3,500. 

Elsewhere in the city, a store selling motorcycle parts has taken precautions against the spread of the virus. All workers wear masks, they offer hand sanitizer at the store’s entrance and only allow three customers inside at the same time. Still, sales are down by 70%, an employee reports. 

And at Parque México, one of the capital city’s urban gardens, a popsicle shop shoulders on, albeit shrouded in plastic. There, workers wearing masks and gloves pass their products to customers through a gap in a plastic curtain. 

This would normally be the beginning of their high season as temperatures are on the rise, but the streets are for the most part empty. That situation is unlikely to change before at least May 30, according to government coronavirus guidelines.

Currently, Mexico City is one of the country’s epicenters of contagion and has seen 4,152 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, while 328 people have died.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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