21 de abril de 2021
English - News

Mexico's Caribbean welcoming tourist wave despite fears of new Covid spike

By Lourdes Cruz

Cancun, Mexico, Mar 28 (efe-epa).- Tourist destinations in Quintana Roo, on Mexico's Caribbean coast, are operating at 60 percent of their capacity but expect to welcome at least 600,000 tourists within the next two weeks of vacation despite fears of a new spike in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The arrival of national and international travelers has alerted local authorities, who are keeping the open-door policy in place with an eye toward reactivating the economy despite acknowledging the up to 200 percent increase in confirmed coronavirus cases in towns like Isla Mujeres and Felipe Carrillo Puerto.

In the face of this scenario, the state government announced "sanitary bubbles" in zones like Cancun, the Riviera Maya and Tulum, promising that there will be spaces free of Covid-19 to provide security for visitors bearing a Covid-free certificate for tourist service providers.

But this program, which was launched last year, has only attracted 250 companies out of more than 2,000 establishments.

Mexico is the No. 3 country in terms of Covid-19 deaths with more than 201,000 fatalities, along with 2.2 million confirmed cases.

But it was also the third-most-visited country in the world in 2020, when its tourist GDP contracted by 28 percent, although it welcomed more international tourists than other nations because of its lax restrictive measures which never included suspending flights, implementing quarantines or obligatory testing.

Proof of this is the controversy surrounding the 44 Argentine students who tested positive for Covid-19 upon arriving back in their country in mid-March after vacationing in Cancun, where they underwent fake testing to show they were "Covid-free" at two unlicensed laboratories.

Mexican authorities have promised to review all negative-Covid certificates but so far they have only closed the two labs identified in the Argentine case.

In an interview with EFE, Javier Aranda, the executive direct of the Hotel Association of Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos, said that they are working to raise awareness among visitors.

"If we look at the experience in the case of the Argentine tourists, there are young people who sometimes ... are not aware that they should be a little more careful," he said.

He added that adhering to the safety precautions are the "responsibility of the people who come here."

"Even when you continue these protocols, and even when they are followed with commitment and responsibility, no company can guarantee 100 immunity," he said.

Mexico's main tourist destination is also facing the negative repercussions on the tourist trade of a recent shootout in a bar that left one person dead and three wounded, a reminder that the security crisis is still ongoing.

Despite the active threat of the pandemic, local businessmen are hoping to boost the economy after the annualized 8.2 percent drop in GDP last year.

The private sector is hoping for seven million tourists at different Mexican tourist destinations who will spend some 26.5 billion pesos (about $1.325 billion), according to the Cocanaco-Servytur national chambers of commerce, services and tourism.

"We're going to be talking about more than 100,000 people each day, and that's going to be within the first few days, and at the peak we're talking about almost 105,000 people, a little more on the Thursday through Sunday of Holy Week," Aranda said.

On Gaviota Azul beach, located in Punta Cancun, EFE found examples of people who had lost their regular livelihoods, like the members of the Salvaje Banda Vakeros musical band who before the pandemic performed at social events but now just play on the public streets for the contributions they can get.

On Monday, health authorities in Quintana Roo will begin an anti-Covid vaccination campaign for elderly adults and plan to administer 13,000 doses.



Histórico de noticias
Free joints for people vaccinated against Covid-19 in New York

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

Apple completely redesigns iMac, puts its own M1 chip into iPad Pro

San Francisco, Apr 20 (EFE).- Apple on Tuesday held its first big hardware event of 2021, the highlights of which included the complete redesign of the...

Mexican UFO-logist journalist investigates crop circles in documentary

Mexico City, Apr 20 (EFE).- Mexican journalist and UFO-logist Jaime Maussan will host a television documentary titled "Circulos de cultivo" (Crop circles),...

Biden hopes jury delivers "correct" verdict in Floyd murder case

Washington, Apr 20 (EFE).- President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he hopes that the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin...

Protesters gather at detention center, ask Biden to keep his promises

Miami, Apr 19 (EFE).- About 30 demonstrators gathered on Monday outside a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in South Florida to call...

Uruguay's "Painted Birds" area vying for responsible tourism award

By Santiago Carbone

Fossils of new dinosaur species found in Chile

Santiago, Apr 19 (EFE).- The Chilean Culture Ministry on Monday announced the discovery of a new species of dinosaur measuring an estimated 6.3 meters (20.7...

US warns Russia of consequences if jailed Navalny dies

Washington, Apr 18 (EFE).- White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Sunday warned Russia that there will be unspecified "consequences" for the...

Sao Paulo eases restrictions despite pandemic surge in Brazil

Sao Paulo, Brazil, Apr 18 (EFE).- Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous state and the one hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, on Sunday reopened its churches...

Brazil surpasses 355,000 Covid deaths with current death rate 3,000 per day

Sao Paulo, Brazil, Apr 13 (EFE).- Brazil registered 3,808 Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the official nationwide coronavirus death toll...

Police officer who shot Wright resigns, family rejects "accident" claim

By Alex Segura Lozano

Biden, NATO issue warnings over Russia's military buildup near Ukraine

Brussels, Apr 13 (EFE).- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday demanded that Moscow "immediately" halt its military buildup on its border with...

Huge statue of Christ being raised in southern Brazil

Encantado, Brazil, Apr 13 (EFE).- On a hill in southern Brazil workers have been assembling the metal skeleton of a huge statue for a little over a year....

Peruvians between rock and hard place before "least bad" runoff election

By Carla Samon Ros

Biden calls for calm after death of young black man in police shooting

Washington, Apr 12 (EFE).- President Joe Biden on Monday lamented the "tragic" death of African American Daunte Wright, who was shot to death on the weekend...

Yaku, the invisible candidate making his mark on Ecuador's politics

By Daniela Brik

Evo Morales' party defeated in local Bolivia elections

La Paz, Apr 12 (EFE).- The governing Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), headed by former President Evo Morales, was defeated in the gubernatorial races in...

Matsuyama becomes 1st Japanese to win Augusta Masters

Augusta, Georgia, Apr 11 (efe-epa).- Hideki Matsuyama, ranked No. 25 in the world, on Sunday fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming the first Japanese to...

Trump rails against election "fraud," McConnell

Miami, Apr 11 (efe-epa).- Former President Donald Trump once again attacked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at a private fundraising event on the...

Brazil resumes subsidies to poorest amid worsening pandemic

Brasilia, Apr 6 (efe-epa).- The Brazilian government on Tuesday resumed paying monthly subsidies designed to alleviate the economic dislocation being caused...

El Salvador focusing on students' mental health as classes resume

By Hugo Sanchez

Karla Souza finding right comedic note in "Home Economics"

By David Villafranca

"Godzilla vs. Kong" revives US box office with biggest pandemic screening

Los Angeles, Apr 5 (efe-epa).- "Godzilla vs. Kong" has been reviving US and Canadian box offices over the Holy Week holidays, racking up the biggest ticket...

Rio, Sao Paulo facing possible Covid surge after 10 days of celebrations

By Nayara Batschke