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Monday, January 24, 2022

Mérida Fest to go forward despite COVID-19 surge

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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.
City Hall insists Mérida Fest 2022 will be held in a safe and responsible manner, but not everyone is convinced. Photo: Courtesy

The Ayuntamiento has confirmed that in-person events scheduled for Mérida Fest 2022 will continue as planned.

The announcement comes despite the implementation of recent restrictions reintroduced by the state government yesterday limiting large-scale events such as concerts and sports matches. 

In-person events during the festival will be limited to a maximum of 700 people. Roughly one-third of the events are to be held online — though this had already been the plan before Thursday’s announcement. 

Mérida Fest 2022 is scheduled to kick off tonight with several outdoor events along Paseo de Montejo, as well as indoor musical and theatrical performances.

The festival will continue with several cultural events, workshops, and activities until Jan 23. 

Commenters on social media have expressed their displeasure with the plan to continue with the festival, calling it dangerous and hypocritical.

“So if concerts organized by private companies and other sorts of events will now have to be canceled, how the heck is it that the mayor is allowed to carry on with his own private little circus?” said Mérida resident Guillermo Mendoza on Facebook. 

Earlier: Yucatán back to tougher restrictions as COVID continues to skyrocket

Event organizers insist that Mérida Fest 2022 will take place under strict sanitary protocols, but critics insist that the risk of infection is too high — especially for indoor events. 

Mérida Mayor Renán Barrera Concha has also come under criticism for not obeying social distancing protocols during last weekend’s City Marathon. The Mayor announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 the following Monday. 

The Mayor celebrates with the winners of Mérida’s 2022 City Marathon. Photo: Courtesy

On Thursday, Yucatán recorded 459 new coronavirus cases in a single day, forcing authorities to backtrack from the green to yellow alert.

Admissions to public hospitals also increased considerably this week, but it’s the rising positivity rate which jumped from 14.7% to 58.4% that appears to be worrying epidemiologists. 

State and municipal authorities are also stressing that wearing facemasks continues to be compulsory in all public spaces, including beaches and parks. 

The full schedule for this year’s Mérida Fest, including in person and virtual performances, can be found on the event’s website.

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