New Normal: Mexico reveals ‘traffic light’ scheme to easing COVID-19 restrictions

The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, presents the reopening plan, after the COVID-19 quarantine is lifted.

“Today the economic, social, and cultural reopening plan is presented, that is, how we will return to the new normal. The economic, social and cultural reopening plan will be widely publicized so that everyone knows it,” said the President.

López Obrador explained that the return to the “new normal” will be in stages and a four-color traffic light will be used: red, orange, yellow and green, where red represents greater restrictions and green will return to all activities.

The Secretary of Health, Jorge Alcocer, assured that “the economic reactivation plan meets the criteria of security and certainty; the health of Mexicans were the most important factor.”

“This is a progressive plan for the restart of social, economic, and school activities under the principles of clarity, security, and certainty. Health and life will always be privileged. Let’s go towards a new normality ”, expressed the Secretary of Health.

The Secretary of Economy, Graciela Márquez, affirmed that the plan involves three stages. One on May 18, reopening parts of the country that have not seen cases of COVID-19.

The second stage, one of preparation for the general reopening. It will run from May 18 to 31. It involves developing protocols, training, space adaptation, and business entry filters.

The third begins on June 1 with the regional traffic lights activated for business reopenings.

Red

When the traffic light is red, only work activities that are considered essential will be allowed, in which three new sectors were added: construction, mining, and auto manufacturing.

In addition to that, the health measures established in each of the colors must be followed, so that people will have to keep hand washing, wear face masks and keep a healthy distance.

Orange

In the orange color, the activities that can be carried out will increase, that is, they will be able to start operating public spaces but with restrictions.

Health checks will be installed in some workplaces and work protocols such as reduction of working hours or changes of clothes, among others, will be executed.

Vulnerable people, that is, with chronic diseases or older adults, may also return to work, but safely and following the recommendations of the Ministry of Health.

Yellow

In yellow the activities will be further expanded, in addition to considering the above, in this color, people will be able to operate with less restriction.

However, in the closed public space such as: religious temples, cinemas, restaurants, among others there will be more restrictions, activities may be reactivated but they will work with reduced capacity and the care for vulnerable people will be observed.

Green

When the traffic light turns green there is no restriction of any kind, everything returns to normal and it will be the moment when schools will also open their doors to receive students. However, security measures must be maintained in all workplaces.

López Obrador said that, although there was a consensus with the governors to carry out the ´New Normality Plan´, its implementation is voluntary and there will be no controversy with the states or municipalities that do not adhere to the plan, however, he trusted the responsibility of citizens.

“We are in a stellar moment of democracy in Mexico, that is why we are not going to change at this stage, that is, coercive measures are not going to be applied, nothing by force, everything for reason and law. This plan is of voluntary application, trusting in the responsibility of the people and guaranteeing liberties,” expressed the president.


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