Before the World Health Organization announced a global pandemic, the government of Mexico designed a Preparation and Response Plan on January 30th.
On February 28th Mexico confirmed its first three cases. By March 16th there were 78 confirmed cases yet President López Obrador had not yet taken action, choosing instead to downplay the virus and its impact on Mexico. It would be a lawyer, Marco Antonio del Toro who would petition the federal courts to cease all activity that is not essential for 30 to 40 days.
On March 17th the total number of confirmed COVID 19 infections in Mexico went up to 93. The Mexican government has been criticized for its slow response to the epidemic, with this many confirmed cases a concert was still permitted as well as women’s championship soccer matches.
At this point all foreign travel was being monitored and there were many more suspected cases still waiting on tests. On March 22nd all bars, museums, nightclubs and movie theaters were closed. March 23rd Mexico entered phase 2 of the pandemic which prohibited gatherings of over 100 and launched a plan to administer more tests.
After much criticism, President López Obrador put Mexico on lockdown on March 23rd, suspending much of the country’s economic activity.
What It Looks Like Now
The president developed a “traffic light” plan to restart the Mexican economy which would begin on June 1st. This categorized different zones by assigning traffic lights based on the risk level of those areas.
- Red – People limited on movement outside their homes during daytime hours and economic activities are only allowed for essential needs.
- Orange – Allows some non-essential economic activities, which can operate at 30 percent of their personnel. Companies are asked to take into account high risk individuals and public spaces are reopened at a reduced capacity.
- Yellow – Public spaces are reopened completely, people are asked to continue caring for high risk individuals, closed spaces can operate at reduced capacity, activities can be carried out as long as preventative measures are taken.
- All activities including school are allowed.
Right now, all areas are still in red and orange.
The Future Of Mexico
In spite of very high numbers of people still infected with COVID 19, Mexico has continued along with the plan of reopening with the traffic light plan. Mexico has nearly 257,000 confirmed active cases and with the rush to reopen the economy this number is still climbing and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Different states in Mexico have different rules regarding societal norms during this Traffic Light phase. Cancun and Riviera Maya are already allowing tourists to visit again, and since tourists still have to live under the Traffic Light regulations, the number of foreign visitors has remained low.
Here’s a few more rules and regulations to keep in mind that do apply to the whole country.
- Social Distancing – Everyone is expected to continue practicing efforts to maintain a safe distance when communicating with others.
- Face Masks – People are encouraged to wear them and any indoor location will have rules set to have all guests wear masks, as for official regulation of masks, that is decided on a state by state basis.
- Hotels – Hotels may only operate at 50% capacity.
- Attractions – attraction and tour operators must obtain a sanitary certification to be permitted to reopen.
- Airports – No flights are restricted. Safety steps taken are implemented upon arrival in a terminal.