Mexico City closes bars, limits eateries as virus cases rise

Mexico City announced Friday it will order bars closed for two weeks after the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 rose to levels not seen since August.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said restaurants and gyms will have to close earlier.

The city closed nightclubs and bars in the spring, but later allowed some to re-open as restaurants. But Sheinbaum said many had not enforced sanitary and social distance measures and had become “places of very, very high transmission.”

She has warned the city was at risk of returning to the highest red-level alert, which would entail closing most non-essential businesses.

Sheinbaum said the number of tests administered would be increased to as many as 10,000 per day, which is still far below most developed nations but higher than most of the rest of the country. Nationwide, Mexico’s policy has been to test only those who have serious symptoms.

The city of almost nine million has never been under a strict lockdown, but businesses, museums, parks and shopping malls have been under capacity restrictions for months. More than 3,000 people are currently hospitalized in the capital, though clinics still are at about half-capacity.

Mexico City has seen about 175,000 cases and at least 12,279 deaths from the virus.

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