Bars and nightclubs in Cancun, Quintana Roo, closed their doors after suspending the sale of alcohol in those areas due to the resurgence of Covid-19 infections. After the return to epidemiological yellow semaphore, beer sales hours were also restricted in supermarkets and convenience stores, and some roads were closed in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, and Chetumal as part of the measures.
State authorities mentioned that the protocol and restrictive measures in Quintana Roo are to try to contain the chain of contagions that have shot up among the population and workers in the tourism sector. According to the Ministry of Finance and Planning (Sefiplan), the sale of alcohol in bars and bar-restaurants was temporarily suspended until February 10, while the regular hours for the sale of beer in restaurants, supermarkets, and convenience stores will be from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm and on Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Another of the measures taken was the restriction of capacity to 60 percent for establishments such as hotels, restaurants, historic sites, theme parks, golf courses, tourist services, beaches, public parks, cinemas, theaters, shopping malls, department stores, beauty salons, religious services, real estate, and manufacturing.
Likewise, a 50 percent capacity was set for casinos, bars, nightclubs, discotheques, entertainment centers, and canteens. The state Public Safety Secretariat will be in charge of closing roads and main avenues from 2:30 to 5:00 a.m. in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, and Chetumal.
In Tulum, a special comprehensive security operation is being carried out, including the use of patrol cars to inform the population about the mandatory use of masks, the reduction of the number of people, and the reduction of the number of vehicles. The Secretary of Health of Quintana Roo, Alejandra Aguirre, indicated that 39 percent of the rapid tests applied in Cancun, Cozumel, and Chetumal during this week have given positive results, an indicator of the increase of contagions in the state, where up to 936 cases have been registered in one day.
Regarding the infections with the Omicron variant, Aguirre Crespo said that 36 sequences have been detected: 34 in Cancun and two in Playa del Carmen. The Secretary of Health admitted that there is an increase in the number of cases, which is the reason why classes and flights at Cancun International Airport have been suspended.
Seven out of 10 Cancun cab drivers have COVID-19, the union says
The increase in cases of coronavirus in Quintana Roo affects the cab drivers' union, whose members provide services to many people for several hours a day, so a large percentage of them were infected with COVID-19. According to Luis Mis, Spokesman for the 'Andres Quintana Roo' Taxi Drivers Union of Cancun, 70 percent of the members who attend the city's Taxi Drivers' Medical Clinic are carriers of the virus.
"Although there is no exact figure, in the last week, seven out of every 10 people who go to the Taxi Drivers Clinic have tested positive for the virus, taking into account that not only cab operators are treated, but also concessionaires," he revealed in an interview with Por Esto!
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the union members from affecting the operation, the drivers must work overtime, but at the same time, maintain sanitary measures to avoid becoming infected like their colleagues. Such is the case of Victor Herrera, who every afternoon leaves home and until the early morning hours looks for people who require his service, but with the latent fear that one of the passengers might infect him because, according to him, "if you don't work, you don't earn".
"If you get infected and cannot work for 15 days, during that time you do not generate any income and the Union still charges you for your daily contributions unless you go and ask for a chance to be forgiven, but there is no way". Since he has no social security, Víctor drives his unit and tries to have as little contact with the passenger as possible, because he knows that "there is nothing to back you up in case of disability. Only if you die, because we have a death and disability fund".
The union spokesman explained that they are implementing vehicle sanitization strategies and free rapid tests, in addition to verifying that the operators are wearing masks and respecting the Sana Distancia with their passengers.
"Since January 1, random operations were announced throughout the city, by Delegates of the Labor Secretariat of the guild, to monitor that operators comply with basic preventive sanitary measures during the provision of the service; in parallel, operators have been invited to go to the free vehicle disinfection module, which is located in the self-payment area, from 9:00 to 15:00 hours, from Monday to Saturday," he continued.