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Tourists permitted on public Cancun, Riviera Maya beaches while they remain closed to locals

Cancun, Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Tourists arriving at Cancun and Riviera Maya hotels have been allowed to enjoy the region’s beaches, while they remain off limits to locals. Tourists vacationing in the Cancun Hotel Zone have been seen on beaches and swimming in the sea along Kukulcán Boulevard, however, local residents attempting to enter the Cancun Hotel Zone to spend a day at the beach have been denied access.

According to president of the Hotel Association of Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres Roberto Citron Gomez, tourists are allowed to use local beaches as long as they follow health protocols. Hotels are permitted to allow their gusts to use beach areas at a maximum occupation of 30 percent.

However, Cancun lawyer Lilia Vargas Villavicencio says that allowing tourists and denying locals access to beaches is definitely an act of discrimination, especially when some hotels are profiting by offering a day pass to local residents at a tune of 1,500 peso.

“By restricting access to public beaches, rights and freedoms are undermined … the authorities must stop restricting the rights of the population. If tourists, all workers with masks and tourists without masks are already welcome, that is a very strong discrimination issue. We must have access to the beaches. They are public … otherwise we will continue giving priorities to foreigners and break with what the constitution establishes,” explained the director of Vargas Saucedo Abogados.

She added that a discrimination complaint could be filed based on Article 1 of the Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos where it is established that all types of discrimination, motivated by ethnic origin, gender, social conditions and even due to health conditions, threatens human dignity.

On Monday, the government of Cozumel said they have also authorized the reopening of some private beach clubs for tourists, but beaches remain off limits to locals. The confirmation came from the director of Civil Protection, Héctor Mac Marín, who said that they have verified the approved beach clubs comply with all the health and security guidelines as set out in the new normal.

He also noted that the beach use-times are limited to certain hours and that people can only enter them with the necessary care, keeping healthy distance and with a 30 percent capacity, adding that the public beaches will remain closed.