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Civil Protection gets involved after ferry concessionaire reported for failing to enforce health protocols

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Inspectors from Civil Protection of Solidaridad attended to the complaint of a lack of health protocols being implemented by the company who operates the ferry services between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Francisco Poot Kauil, secretario de Protección Civil for Solidaridad, confirmed that they acted before a citizen report of the company failing to prevent proper distancing, failing to enforce the use of face masks or even distributing antibacterial gel among its passengers.

Poot says that the health procols are regulated by Cofepris, noting that Civil Protection only delivered a list of recommendations without any sanctions, but did confirm that during a second visit, the instructions provided had been followed.

Their involvement came after Cozumel city council confirmed that they ended their intervention in the maritime terminal to prevent this type of issue due to disagreements between the municipality of Cozumel, the ferry concessionaire Navegación Veracruzana (NAVEGA) and the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) .

In a visit last week by federal authorities, various failures in health prevention came to light, which would normally result in a closure, an impossible situation since this would leave Cozumel incommunicado.

Sources within the Solidaridad City Council, speaking on condition of anonymity, regretted that unlike land transport with whom there is good communication to impose preventive measures, the ferry companies have not shown openness to prevent possible cases of COVID-19.

In recent weeks, the influx of passengers crossing between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel has been on the rise with ferry companies refusing to increase the number of runs, a situation that generates long lines and at times, crowds of waiting people.

Both ends of the ferry terminals were left without sanitary protocols after Cozumel mayor Pedro Joaquín Delbouis withdrew coronavirus support staff he had on the pier.

Playa del Carmen mayor Laura Berinstain Navarrete says that along with the Cozumel city council, they will ensure ferry companies comply with health protocols and, if not, they will be subject to a penalty.

“The City Councils of Cozumel and Solidaridad work in coordination and we are on the watch for ferry companies that do not comply, in which case, they will be closed immediately, since it is not possible that these types of companies who have resources do not support the health protocols,” she said.