Cancun, Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Although there has been a gradual reopening of many businesses in the northern region of the state, municipal heads along with the state governor are reiterating that all beaches remain closed.
The government of Isla Mujeres has made the announcement that after the gradual reactivation of various economic activities, the municipal government will keep beaches closed until the state and federal government determine that it is time to reopen, which relies on a yellow traffic light, something that has not yet been achieved.
Kerem Pinto Aguilar, director of the Federal Terrestrial Maritime Zone (Zofemat), explained that the prevention and containment measures for the coronavirus must continue and, despite the fact that some essential sectors have already opened their doors, beaches are classified, according to the orange traffic light, as an activity that cannot yet be opened.
“Health will continue to be a priority…when the state and federal governments indicate the reopening, various preventive actions must continue to be carried out to minimize the impact of the virus in our municipality. We are going to have different protocols for this reactivation since it is essential to continue participating in hygiene and healthy distance measures,” stressed the director.
Pinto Aguilar added that Zofemat brigades continue to keep beaches in optimal condition since they play a very important role in reviving the local economy. “We maintain them at 100 percent so that when the time comes, they can be enjoyed to the fullest by both islanders and visitors.”
She also noted that surveillance is still being carried out between Zofemat, Civil Protection and Public Security to invite those who go to the beach to return to their homes, since all the beaches remain closed.
Isla Mujeres Tourism Director Gustavo Rodríguez Orozco also confirmed that even though essential activities have began, the beaches will continue to be closed until a change in the traffic light system.
The official acknowledged that the return to the new normal will be slow, but that the goal is to guarantee the safety of those who work in tourism and of those who arrive to visit.
He said that the restriction measure not only applies to Isla Mujeres, but to the entire state of Quintana Roo where the northern area remains orange and the southern zone remains red.
For hotels, the situation is not entirely clear because although hotels have begun to function, in the case of Isla Mujeres one of its greatest attractions is precisely the beaches. “Offering hotel rooms without beaches is illogical for those of us who live in Isla Mujeres ” commented one island businessmen.
He said that unfortunately many of the guests are looking for that, the beaches, and as long as the traffic light does not change and the enjoyment of the beaches is not allowed, it will be impossible to speak of a real economic recovery for this tourist destination.
The Governor of Quintana Roo Carlos Joaquín González, shared a portion of the live broadcast in which he was asked about the reopening of beaches. He said that state beaches will reopen once the epidemiological traffic light turns yellow, which they are hoping, will be “in a few weeks.”
He explained that he has maintained communication with all state mayors to establish a strategy to allow visitors to once again, enjoy the Mexican Caribbean. Among the options proposed was to install spaces to maintain the healthy distance as well as allowing beach access individually and not in groups in order to avoid the risk of infection.
“The problem is not the sea, but the coexistence on the beach itself through contact.” Similarly, hotels cannot use public areas in a general way, but gradually.
Governor Carlos Joaquín specified that at this stage, the important thing is “to reactivate the state’s economy while maintaining care for the people.”