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Director of Zofemat says Playa del Carmen beach program likely to be extended

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — With only days remaining in the city’s beach reopening pilot project, the director of Zofemat says the project could continue. Marco Loeza Pacheco, director of the Zona Federal Marítimo Terrestre (Zofemat) for Solidaridad, said that the local response has been positive with indications that the program could continue.

He says that the beach reopening project included only three of Playa del Carmen’s beaches, Xcalacoco, Punta Esmeralda and Playa 88, explaining that residents have abided by the provisions, understanding that the measures were made to promote citizen care. Loeza Pacheco added that residents have also respected the 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. beach schedule.

“Starting at 3:00 p.m., access is restricted and then at 4:00 p.m., with the support of Civil Protection municipal and state police, beaches are monitored to ensure that everyone leaves without crowding,” he said.

According to figures, 5,050 people have already visited those three beaches during the first week, of which Punta Esmeralda, being the largest, received the most people. There were days of up to 1,500 people, although not at the same time, he added.

“Up to 500 are allowed to enter. As some leave, others enter,” he said and added that in the case of Xcalacoco, a maximum of 200 is allowed and in Playa 88, the capacity is 300 people. Loeza Pacheco explained that the city chose to establish the pilot plan on those beaches since they are the ones that have the infrastructure that allows filtered control at the entrances.

In an interview with Radio Turquesa, he said that on a scale from 1 to 10, he would give the pilot reopening program an 8.5 for results and compliance, since most people understand that their behavior has to be different during the new normal.

Loeza Pacheco added that in coming days, organizers of the program including Civil Protection, the National Guard, Ministry of Health, state police and Zofemat, will meet to evaluate the situation, although according to the parameters they have, he hinted that it is very feasible that those beaches will remain open.

The official added that if a yellow epidemiological light is reached, the reopening of other beaches would be allowed, but with measures similar to those applied in the pilot program. Earlier this month, the city announced it was implementing the reopening of three locals beaches from August 20 to 30 as a pilot project.