Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
9:00 AM 4th June 2020

San Miguel Kickstarts Mexican Life

San Miguel de Allende, the city deemed to be at the “Heart of Mexico”, today enters Phase 0 of its Covid-19 Reactivation Plan.

During this initial phase, San Miguel, located in the Bajio region, will see most of the business infrastructure that affects local residents reopen, including restaurants, shopping centres, markets, public transportation, offices and more.

At this point, hotels, bars, cantinas, clubs, public or hotel pools will not yet reopen. All residents are being asked to wear masks, practice social distancing and apply extensive hygiene practices.

Businesses will be required to implement international-grade sanitation protocols, including shoe-cleaning, a decrease in interior foot traffic, set-up of dispensers of antibacterial sanitizer containing 70% alcohol, provision of face masks for people without them and hourly disinfecting of public spaces. At no point can any groups gather inside or outside public spaces.

Access to San Miguel de Allende has been closed since March to non-residents, with city police filtering all its entrances (Querétaro, Celaya-Comonfort, Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo and Dr. Mora). Those permitted to enter must not show symptoms of Covid-19 and be essential to the needs of the recovery phase the city is currently in.

San Miguel de Allende’s Mayor, Luis Alberto Villarreal García, clarified that San Miguel de Allende is still not open to tourism. Phase 0 will reopen restaurants, operating at 50% capacity, and markets, at 30% capacity, for residents only.

"We still haven't opened the doors to our visitors,” said Mayor Villarreal García. “San Miguel is not opening to tourism, not yet; We will do it gradually. Gradually and responsibly, as the number of infections marks us.”

Reinforcing the Mayor’s stance, San Miguel de Allende’s City Council has passed an ordinance stating that guest properties cannot push bookings on digital platforms until the city enters Phase 3. If they do so, said the mayor, they are putting public health at risk.