Mexico City coronavirus update: restaurants reopen on July 1st

Mexico City will reopen on July 1st restaurants and hotels with 30% of its capacity and on July 6th shopping centers, in a further step towards economic reopening after the closure decreed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Guidelines to be followed by restaurants in Mexico City
Guidelines to be followed by restaurants in Mexico City

"On Wednesday, July 1, hotels will be able to open at 30% of their capacity and restaurants, with strict (sanitary) measures," explained the capital's head of government, Claudia Sheinbaum, at a press conference on Friday.

Restaurants with terraces will be able to open at 40% capacity.

In addition, on July 2 the tianguis (flea markets) of the capital will be able to operate again, on July 3 the hairdressers will reopen with appointments, and on July 6 the department stores and shopping centers, also with limited capacity and schedules.

Sheinbaum explained that churches, cinemas, theatres, museums, concert halls, gyms, bars, discos, schools, amusement parks, offices and event halls will remain closed.

This new phase follows a reopening system designed by the federal government and the capital city and based on a four-color traffic light (red, orange, yellow, and green) that determines the activities that can be performed each week.

"The health traffic light of the Government of Mexico has put Mexico City for next week already in the orange traffic light. Even when we are at the orange light we will be opening gradually and with strict health measures," explained the mayor, who recalled that "the pandemic continues.

The capital was going to enter the orange traffic light last week, but it was postponed because there was not yet a sufficient reduction of hospitalized people. This Friday, Sheinbaum assured that "in the last 15 days we can already see a decrease in hospitalizations".

She explained that the city experienced a peak on May 22 with 4,573 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, while today there are 3,908. According to the latest data, the capital is the area of the country most affected by the pandemic, with 45,125 confirmed cases with diagnostic tests and 6,116 deaths.

Rules to be followed by restaurants

If they are in open spaces, they can have a capacity of 40 percent. Otherwise, it will be only 30 percent.

Mandatory use of mouth guards and face masks for employees serving customers.

There can be no background music, as this causes people to speak at high volumes and saliva droplets to spread more frequently.

There will be sanitary filters at the entrance, to detect symptoms and take the temperature. This will also apply to suppliers. If the person's temperature exceeds 37.5 degrees Celsius, they will not be able to pass.

Tables should be set up in a zigzag pattern of five feet. If this is not possible, there should be physical barriers.

Natural ventilation is preferred. If artificial ventilation is available, it can only operate with 30 percent recirculation to the outside. Recirculation to the interior is prohibited.

Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the restaurant. There will be no smoking areas.

Menus must be posted on blackboards, posters, or boards attached to the wall. There will be no printed menus.

Constant use of anti-bacterial gel.

Electronic payment will be promoted to avoid physical contact with the use of cash.

Weekly testing of Covid-19 at 5 percent of staff, for businesses with 30 or more employees.

15 days off for people with a positive diagnosis.

No one can be fired for having a coronavirus,

Disinfection of surfaces 6 times a day or more.