Authorities in Mexico City, Nuevo León and Quintana Roo have announced the easing of some coronavirus restrictions.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said Friday that the infection risk level will remain at orange light “high” in the capital for an 11th consecutive week between September 7 and 13.
Nevertheless, restaurants will be permitted to extend their closing time by one hour to 11:00 p.m. as of Monday and shops, department stores and malls will be allowed to remain open an additional 1 1/2 hours until 6:30 p.m.
Businesses will still have to limit their capacity to 30% of their normal level, Sheinbaum said.
The mayor said that construction work will be permitted on Saturdays starting next week and that authorities will meet with the owners of gyms to discuss the development of health protocols that will allow them to reopen.
The Mexico City government allowed the reopening of bars, cantinas and other entertainment venues almost four weeks ago. However, under current restrictions they are required to operate as if they were restaurants, meaning they must offer food and table service to patrons.
In addition to announcing the easing of some restrictions, Sheinbaum told a virtual press conference that hospital occupancy levels have decreased in the past three days after increasing last week.
She said that 2,857 coronavirus patients are currently in general care beds in Mexico City hospitals and that 673 are on ventilators. At the “most difficult time” of the pandemic, about 1,200 patients were intubated, Sheinbaum said.
Mexico City has recorded more than 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, far more than any other state, and 10,725 Covid-19 deaths, according to official data.
In Nuevo León, where the coronavirus risk level is also orange light “high” according to the federal government’s stoplight system, a range of businesses were permitted to reopen Friday as only two of 10 risk indicators for the state are currently red.
Governor Jaime Rodríguez announced during a virtual meeting with mayors that cinemas, gyms, spas, tattoo parlors, museums, theaters, casinos, circuses and convention centers could reopen at 30% capacity after remaining closed for more than five months.
He also said that local sports leagues could recommence activity. However, some business including bars, nightclubs and children’s party halls were not given the green light to reopen despite the decreasing risk level. Stadiums, public swimming pools and daycare centers also remain closed in Nuevo León.
Rodríguez urged residents of the northern state to continue observing health recommendations and wearing a face mask in order to decrease the possibility of new outbreaks and avoid the need to tighten restrictions that have been eased.
Nuevo León has recorded 30,311 confirmed coronavirus cases, the fourth highest tally among Mexico’s 32 states, and 2,362 Covid-19 deaths.
Meanwhile, Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquín González announced that the northern half of the Caribbean coast state will switch to the “yellow” light medium risk level next week.
Beaches, gyms and archaeological sites in the northern region, which includes Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, will all be permitted to reopen at reduced capacity between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., the governor said.
He said that people will not be permitted to take alcoholic beverages or food to the beach and urged citizens to continue observing coronavirus mitigation measures.
Gyms and sports centers will be permitted to operate at 70% capacity in open areas and 50% in enclosed ones. Restaurants, hotels, theme parks, theaters, cinemas, department stores, hair salons and places of worship will be permitted to operate at 60% capacity under yellow light restrictions but bars and nightclubs must remain closed.
Quintana Roo, which has recorded 10,543 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,416 Covid-19 deaths, is currently painted orange on the federal government’s stoplight map.
But the Quintana Roo government, like those in some other states, has established its own guidelines to determine which coronavirus restrictions can be eased and when.