The government of Mexico has lifted lockdown measures partially in 269 municipalities, urging manufacturers and mining firms to resume operations with adequate safety measures in place.
However, schools, restaurants, gyms, and hair salons cannot open up immediately; those out on the streets should wear masks, the government has stated.
Interestingly, the government has added construction and auto manufacturing to its list of “essentials,” meaning they can operate normally in Mexico, despite the restrictions, but with safety measures in place.
Hundreds of factories across the country’s border with the United States are reopening one after another, relieving many business owners on the side of the border who badly want them to stay open because they are the vital links in their supply chains.
The news comes almost two weeks after hotels and resorts operators in Cancun announced that they have planned to reopen in the first week of June.
More than seven weeks have gone by after Mexico went on lockdown. The pandemic has no doubt dealt a deadly to the country’s economy, with analysts predicting it to shrink more than 10% this year.
The hint of lifting the restrictions came last week when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, widely called AMLO, said: “there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” At the news conference, he also cautioned that ignoring safety measures might lead to disastrous consequences.
Initially, AMLO resisted the plans to impose restrictions but caved in as the number of infections soared across the country. As of last weekend, Mexico had reported more than 50,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with the fatality rates topping 5,000.
There are allegations that the country is underreporting the cases, but AMLO is continuously brushing aside such accusations.
With just 0.4 tests per 1,000 citizens, Mexico’s testing rate is among the lowest in the region. Some health experts argue that Mexico is only testing those who show severe symptoms of the disease.