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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

New closure of Tulum archaeological site worries business owners

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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.
While most tourists obey face mask regulations, others simply ignore them. Photo: Courtesy

The archaeological site in Tulum has closed down again after new reports of COVID-19 infections emerge. 

No timeframe has been given for the attraction’s reopening.

Despite attempts by authorities to compel tourists to wear face masks at all times while at the site, some visitors simply refuse to comply.  

The archaeological site had previously closed its doors over the Easter holidays citing similar concerns. 

Unlike larger archaeological sites such as Chicén Itzá, Tulum is fairly small but still manages to pack in thousands of visitors a day — making social distancing difficult. 

The problem of unmasked visitors also extends to Tulum’s beaches, restaurants, and bars, as well as city streets. 

“It is regrettable to see how undisciplined things have become,” said Lucio Hernández Gutiérrez, acting Tulum police chief.

Earlier: Tulum police to gay couple: You can’t kiss here

Vendors and tour guides at Tulum’s archaeological site complained that the closure hurts small businesses the most. 

“This year has been agonizing, and here we go again with the closures. We have no idea when we will be allowed to return to work. What are we supposed to do?” said local tour guide Jesús Alejandro Torres Perera. 

Several tourism operators have announced that they will begin redirecting tours that have already been booked to another archaeological site in Coba.

“We are hoping to see more business, this is our livelihood, and help from the authorities has long since dried up,” said Coba tour guide William Cen Cancé. 

A handful of Mexico’s most visited archaeological sites reopened last September after having been closed for the entirety of the summer. But the vast majority of the countries archaeological sites and museums remain closed idefinately.

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