Mexico City bars adapt to reopen amid the new normal

Mexico City's government has issued new guidelines for the reopening of bars as part of an easing of the coronavirus lockdown

Mexico City bars adapt to reopen amid the new normal
Bars can open at 30% capacity - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 12/08/2020 12:41 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Eduardo Hernández/EL UNIVERSAL & Newsroom/AP Actualizada 12:41

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The government of Mexico City will allow bars to operate as restaurants starting August 10 in order to reopen as part of an easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

While bars and nightclubs have been closed for four months, the city is now offering automatic approval if bar owners fill out an online application and agree to offer food and enforce sanitary and social distancing measures. In exchange, they can open at 30% capacity until 10 p.m.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said that was to avoid more job losses among bar employees.

Similar measures elsewhere have given rise to symbolic food orders — a handful of chips — for customers who really just want a beer or wine. But Sheinbaum was emphatic, saying: “I repeat, the bars are not opening.”

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New guidelines that went into effect Monday also allow movie theaters, swimming pools, and museums in Mexico City to open at 30% of capacity.

Pools will be allowed to open starting on August 10 as long as they follow health measures such as users not sharing equipment and swimmers must remain apart by approximately 6 square meters.

Museums are expected to reopen on August 10. Visitors must wear face masks throughout the whole visit, avoid attending the venues in groups, and there will be no printed programs.

Movie theaters will reopen on August 12. Wearing face masks will be mandatory.

Moreover, shops in Mexico City’s historical center will be allowed to be open from 10:00 to 17:00, one more hour than previously.

The mayor delivered her daily news briefing from home on Monday after she announced she was isolating after one of her top officials tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The city government has been performing slightly more tests than the strikingly low level of testing done nationwide. Nationwide, less than one in 100 people have been tested; the city has administered about 1.5 tests per 100 residents.

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The city government reports about 80,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and about 9,400 COVID-19 deaths so far.

Nationwide, Mexico reported 5,558 newly confirmed coronavirus cases Monday, bring the accumulated total to 485,836. Confirmed deaths rose by 705 to just over 53,000.

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