Yucatán fears surge of COVID-19 cases after Easter

Yucatan’s cathoilic archdiocese suspends Viacrucis for the second year in a row. Photo: Courtesy
Yucatán’s Catholic archdiocese suspends Viacrucis, or Stations of the Cross ceremonies, for the second year in a row. Photo: Courtesy

Authorities in Yucatán are bracing for the second Easter holiday of the COVID-19 era. 

Known in Mexico as Semana Santa, Easter holidays are usually a very busy time of year in Yucatán, with beaches full to the brim and people cramming into bars and restaurants to escape from the heat.  

Despite higher rates of infections and fatalities due to COVID-19, it is likely that this year’s Easter holiday will be more active than that of the 2020 season.

Last week’s long weekend to commemorate the birth of Benito Juarez saw beachgoers flock to several of Yucatán’s beach communities such as Progreso, Telchac and Sisal. 

Last year, Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal announced several measures to combat the spread of the virus. These included strict curfews, beach closures, as well as a prohibition on the sale of alcohol that went into effect just two days before the start of the 2020 holiday season. 

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Given the precarious state of the economy in Yucatán, it is unlikely that Vila Dosal will reinstate such measures, but the option has not been taken off the table. 

“I am asking everyone in Yucatán to not let their guards down over Semana Santa. The last thing we want is to have to return to red due to an infection spike,” said Vila Dosal. 

Nevertheless, the governor’s discourse does seem to now rely more on cooperation from Yucatán’s citizenry rather than on strong executive actions.

Churches in 2020 remained closed for Easter celebrations, but this year, houses of worship will be open to the public at 30% capacity.

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.