Municipal authorities in Cozumel have decided to temporarily close several streets in an attempt to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
The state of Quintana Roo, to which Cozumel belongs, continues to report record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 infections.
As a result, the state moved last week to orange, the second-highest alert level on Mexico’s epidemiological traffic light system.
Tourism industry experts are concerned that the new restrictions may hamper Cozumel’s recovery after the port city began to bounce back at the end of last year with more scheduled cruises than ever before.
Quintana Roo also implemented additional restrictions including a maximum occupancy of 50% in nightclubs and 60% in stores and restaurants.
“This was not a personal decision, it comes as a direct recommendation from our health experts. nobody wants a return to restrictions but this is where we are at the moment,” said Quintana Roo Gov. Carlos Joaquín González.
The surge of COVID-19 infections is the result of the Omicron variant which is rapidly spreading across Mexico and the world.
Because symptoms associated with this variant tend to be much milder, especially for people who have been fully vaccinated, it is often dismissed as a common cold.
Health authorities are now recommending any person with flu-like symptoms to assume that it is indeed COVID-19 until proven otherwise.
Across state lines in Yucatán the situation is not any better, with over 1,000 new infections being reported every day — though health authorities acknowledge that the real number is likely much larger.