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Beaches will remain shut to locals, open to tourists

Cancun, Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Local residents will just have to continue waiting to access the state’s beaches, which local authorities admit, is open for tourists.

Head of the Cancun Hotel Association, Roberto Cintrón Gómez, says that the opening of beaches to tourists staying at hotels is necessary, adding that the situation for locals is temporary.

“We have fought for visitors to have access to the beaches with certain restrictions such as avoiding groups of more than 10 people, which is working. They come to go to the beach and we must keep that in mind,” he said.

After an inquiry request from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador into the opening of public beaches only for tourists, Carlos Orvañanos Rea, the general coordinator of Comunicación del Gobierno del Estado de Quintana Roo, announced that state beaches will continue to be closed as long as the orange light remains.

He said only hotels have authorization under strict sanitary measures, to allow guests beach access. Orvañanos Rea added that this measure will continue despite the national criticism it has generated and despite the pronouncement of the federal Tourism Secretariat for the exclusion it means for the rest of the population.

“The governor himself has said it. He has talked with the hotels and today, the orange traffic light prohibits the use of public beaches and that is the rule until we give way to another traffic light color.

“What has been established very clearly is that the hotels that have reopened are very responsible in the use of their public spaces. It is not only the beaches, but their common areas such as swimming pools and food areas where hotels have invested a good amount of time and resources to train their employees,” said the official at a press conference.

If the unrestricted use of public beaches were allowed, control by the government, either municipal or state, would become very complicated. That is why the use of beaches is completely restricted and in the case of hotels that already have activity, tourists can use them with great caution and care, he added.

Orvañanos Rea also said “the governor does not intend to be putting a policeman at each hotel door that faces the beach. It would be very complicated, rather, the principle of co-responsibility that has already been established in our strategy is used, so that a tourist who comes from Canada two, three or four nights, can take a short walk on the beach, but with restrictions so that this does not lead to further problems.”

He specified that this is not meant to privatize the coasts, but is only a temporary measure to contain the pandemic.