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Bars in Mérida’s Centro at risk of closing down for good

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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.
Employees of la Negrita pose for a photo holding signs petitioning the government to allow them to work. Photo: Courtesy

Centro bars are at risk of permanent closure after the introduction of new rules and the reinstatement of mobility restrictions

Several bars had been granted temporary licenses that allowed them to operate as restaurants, but these permits have now been rescinded. 

Industry representatives say that they cannot withstand any more closures and that if they are forced to close again, this time it will be for good. 

“At El Cardenal, we have been following the rules to be able to operate as a restaurant. We have been open for over eight months now and have not had a single COVID-19 infection. It is unfair of the government to target us like this,” said the owner, Farah Ceh.

Following the announcement of the restrictions, some former bars turned restaurants, including La Ruina on Calle 69, have already decided to call it quits.

Earlier: The newest COVID-19 restrictions and what you need to know

Industry representatives say that they acknowledge the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, but argue that they should be allowed to remain open. 

Measures designed to fight the spread of COVID-19 were tightened on Tuesday by Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal. This came after three straight weeks of growing infection numbers and hospitalizations. 

People in Yucatán reacted to the news with resignation but noted that it was suspicious that authorities decided to reintroduce the restrictions only days after elections.

There has also been a good deal of anger directed at government officials who blame the surge in COVID-19 on bars and irresponsible young people, while at the same time organizing large political rallies and events.

Vila Dosal said that 70% of last week’s new infections were among people between 16 and 39 years old. “They are returning to their social life as if nothing was happening,” he complained. 

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