Mexican Officials Announce Closure of Beaches, Over 1,100 Hotels

Mexican officials announced Thursday that all beaches have been closed after beach tourism was deemed a nonessential activity as the country attempts to slow the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Mexico News Daily, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell revealed every beach in the country would remain closed until at least April 30 after the federal government declared a national emergency.

“The order has been given,” Lopez-Gatell said in a statement. “It obliges state and municipal authorities to take coherent measures and suspend tourist activity on beaches, be it international or local tourism.”

In addition to the beach closures, the Mexican Hotel and Motel Association (AMHM) announced more than 1,100 hotels across Mexico have temporarily closed due to travel restrictions associated with the viral outbreak.

Of the closures, the AMHM said 645 of the hotels were run by small and medium-sized businesses rather than large chains. Cancun and Mexico City have seen the highest number of closures.

Around 460 hotels in Baja California Sur will be forced to close on April 6, while more than 500 hotels in Sinaloa are temporarily shuttering in the coming days. Occupancy levels across Mexico have dropped drastically since travel restrictions were implemented.

While the closures hurt the tourism industry, the National Tourism Business Council said Mexican authorities have spoken to hotel owners and CEOs about possibly providing beds for coronavirus patients if the country’s health system becomes overwhelmed.

Last week, the United States Ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau, asked tourists and citizens still in the country to consider returning to the U.S. as the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the world.

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