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Friday, July 1, 2022

Controversial potted plant roadblocks being removed from Mérida’s streets

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
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.
As onlookers observed the removal of the barriers, locals and foreign residents could be seen grasping a sigh of relief. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Mérida’s government has begun to remove the large potted plants placed along the city’s streets in Centro.

The potted plants were installed almost two years ago as an effort to curb mobility just after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, Yucatán returned to green on Mexico’s epidemiological traffic light.

The removal of these barriers is seen by locals as symbolizing a return to normalcy, or at least a new kind of normal. 

“It’s about time. These things are a pain and are creating chaos for traffic, maybe they were necessary at some point, but that point has long passed,” a Mérida local, René Contreras Ramirez, said on Facebook. 

In all, the city says it has already removed 2,700 obstacles from Mérida’s roads and sidewalks, and that the remainder should also be gone by the weekend. 

Earlier: New signs of life for Mérida’s MACAY contemporary art museum

Other moves implemented by the state government to contain the spread of COVID-19 included controversial mobility restrictions that, in practice, amounted to a curfew between 11 p.m. to 8 a.m., as well as a ban on the sale of liquor

Though technically limitations on the capacity of venues and restaurants are still in effect, these restrictions no longer seem to be enforced, as evidenced by packed locales across the state.

At Mexico’s most visited archaeological site Chichén Itzá, it also appears to be back to business as usual, with even mask use policies being seldom enforced.

Though occasionally INAH staff at Chichén Itzá is requesting that visitors put on facemasks, most of the time they are not bothering to do so anymore. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Under green, society can operate nearly as usual, although facemasks are still standard apparel in public.

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