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Pantheons in Cancun, Playa del Carmen closed for Day of the Dead

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — To avoid the spread of Coronavirus, the municipal pantheons of Benito Juárez (Cancun) and Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen) will remain closed for the upcoming Day of the Dead celebration.

Mayors in both municipalities have announced the closure of their grave sites from October 31 to November 2, when normally, thousands of people visit. Luis Moreno Porihe, Operadora y Administradora de Bienes Municipales confirmed their closure in Cancun.

He says the purpose is to protect the health of citizens as well as continue maintaining a decrease in infections, adding that the visiting of city pantheons for Day of the Dead is deemed a non-essential activity. Only funeral services are considered essential.

In Playa del Carmen, municipal pantheons of Solidaridad will remain closed from October 30 to November 2. Mayor Laura Beristain Navarrete said she made the decision in order to preserve the health and life of citizens, while avoiding a possible rebound in Coronavirus cases.

Día de Muertos, which consists of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, is generally celebrated November 1 and 2 with families visiting the grave sites of deceased loved ones. This year, however, that will not be possible.

Juan Carlos Segura Espadas, Secretary of Public Services explained that “in this administration, the health of citizens and preserving life is the most important thing, so we are counting on everyone’s understanding and urge them to celebrate their deceased at home.”

The general secretary of the Solidaridad City Council, Alfredo Paz Cetina, stressed that many sacrifices were made during the confinement period, and thanks to them, the municipality is on a yellow epidemiological light with the reactivation of activities. However, by not complying, there is a risk of returning to a red light.

“We have seen outbreaks in other countries and Mexico is not exempt from a rebound in cases,” he said. “We are trying not to fall into that situation which would see us return to the red light and paralyze what cost us so much work.”

Grupo Xcaret has also announced the cancellation of the annual event. In September, the company announced the cancellation of several events, once of which was their Festival of Life and Death held every year from the end of October until the beginning of November.