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Most of Mexico’s archaeological sites reopening, but not Chichen Itza

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After closing for five months due to the coronavirus restrictions, the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan opened its doors to visitors on Thursday, but at a reduced capacity of 30%. Photo: Associated Press

Mexico’s pre-Hispanic ruin sites have begun reopening to tourists for the first time since they were closed in March under coronavirus contingencies.

But not Chichen Itza, Yucatan’s — if not Mexico’s — most famous archaeological site. INAH has not announced a date for its return to public access. On the other side of the Peninsula, Tulum and Cobá will reopen Monday.

Other sites are open, or will do so soon, but with limits. The few hundred visitors who will be allowed into most sites must line up for limited tickets, get their temperatures checked, wear face masks, get a dose of hand sanitizing gel and stay distanced from each other. Admission will be limited to just 30% of each sites’ capacities.

At another of the country’s most-visited archaeological sites, the pyramids of Teotihuacan just north of Mexico City, cash-strapped trinket vendors returned but there were few visitors Thursday, according to media reports. Visitors are limited to 3,000 per day and are not allowed to climb up the pyramids of the sun or moon, which used to draw tens of thousands of visitors for the spring and fall equinox.

The staggered opening times for archaeological sites have proved confusing. There is no single day for reopening as officials ensure adequate preparations are in place.

Tourism provides 11 million jobs in Mexico.

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