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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Not waiting for the state’s green light, foreign tourists return to Yucatán

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Yucatán remains under the yellow light, but that could change as coronavirus trends appear favorable. Photo: Getty

International tourists have been seen in increasing numbers while Yucatán’s decline in COVID infections continues.

A driver confirmed that business has been way up in the last week, and more fares are from the US and Canada.

Coronavirus is still much more contagious than it was two months ago, but recent weeks have seen a positive trend.

On Saturday, 172 new cases were reported, compared with 1,173 on the first day of the month. The beginning of February also saw 190 public hospital beds going to coronavirus patients. Today that number is down to 66.

The federal traffic light map put Yucatán back in green late Saturday, but only the state map is relevant. The state, which sets local law, has Yucatán in yellow.

Numerous well-placed sources have speculated that Yucatán will advance from yellow to green on the epidemiological traffic light, which indicates the state’s level of caution. That announcement will be made on Thursday.

A ride through the hotel zone appears normal these days. Aside from face masks that most people are still wearing on the sidewalks, packed café seating areas and jammed tourist buses hint at a comeback nearly two years into the pandemic. Cruise ships are dropping off tourists. Even the help-yourself hotel buffets are back.

It’s high season for international tourists, particularly travelers escaping cold winters up north. And especially after so many people have been discouraged or prohibited from travel for so long.

Away from the tourist areas, it’s clear the pandemic hasn’t left us completely. Nine people died on Saturday. The age range of the current patients is from one month to 107 years. Countless businesses have gone bust, and families without means are struggling to recover from economic and social restrictions, often with family members lost to the virus.

Since the first patient appeared in March 2020, 107,273 infections have been reported in Yucatán, with the real number certain to be many times higher.

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