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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Are COVID-19 restrictions in Yucatan about to come to an end?

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Roadblocks are still being set up in Mérida from 11:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday to Saturday. Photo: Courtesy

Several COVID-19 restrictions expected to be lifted Monday in Yucatán.

Yucatán has maintained its yellow status on Mexico’s epidemiological traffic light system since April 22. 

The change from orange to yellow brought with it a loosening of sanitary protocols including a partial lifting of road curfews.

Yucatán’s business community is now hoping that given the improved COVID-19 panorama, the governor will do away with mobility restrictions altogether.

Pandemic contingencies have been in place for over a year now, and today still include a ban on all motor vehicle activity between 11:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. between Thursday and Saturday.

People caught driving during the restrictive hours can face fines as high as 5,000 pesos, have their car impounded, and lose their driver’s license.

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Other restrictions still in place include shortened operation hours for bars and restaurants, as well as a ban on live music at bars. 

Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal has been under increasing pressure for several months to rescind mobility and business restrictions. Business leaders, particularly those in the tourism and hospitality industry, have been vocal. 

But loosening sanitary protocols could result in higher infection rates, and ultimately force the state back to orange. 

This was the case in the neighboring state of Quintana Roo, which returned to orange last week after months of lax measures. 

While the availability of hospital beds is improving, Yucatan’s positivity rate remains at around 40%, showing only a modest improvement over the past 15 days, health officials reported.

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