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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Tourists in Mexico go maskless to the dismay of locals

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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.
Police in Valladolid gently confront tourists walking about without facemasks. Photo: Courtesy

Authorities in Yucatán say that maskless tourists are becoming a public health concern.

Although many cities and states in the United States have virtually done away with facemasks, this is not the case in Yucatán where the use of face and nose coverings remains compulsory. 

This however has not stopped many tourists from going maskless down the streets of colonial cities like Mérida and Valladolid, to the dismay of many locals. 

City police in Valladolid have noted that most maskless visitors to the city promptly put on facemasks when requested to do so, but that some are a little more stubborn.

“Of course we want tourists to start coming back in larger numbers, but they have to understand that we are not all vaccinated yet,” said Ignacio Cano, a merchant in Valladolid. 

Earlier: Mexico’s new ‘COVID-19 passport’ will open up travel for millions

Critics of the federal government say that Mexico has not done enough to screen visitors in airports or at its borders. Unlike most nations, Mexico does not require a negative COVID-19 test for entry. Tourists entering the country are only required to fill out a brief questionnaire. 

A police officer tells a tourist in Valladolid’s Centro to wear a facemask. Photo: Courtesy

More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, it is relatively rare to see maskless locals in public places.

Mexico is experiencing a significant surge in cases of COVID-19, which is being described as “the dreaded third wave,”

Yucatán is no exception and has been recording record-breaking infection rates since the beginning of the summer. 

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