Guadalajara, Jalisco - Now that the 'Emergency Button' mandates have been lifted, and following the recommendations of the World Health Organization, Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez has announced the new measures that are now in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in Jalisco.
In a press conference on Monday morning, the Governor said, "Fortunately the information that we have so far shows that through activating the emergency button we achieved a significant reduction in the number of active cases. Having made prevention our main weapon gives us room to maneuver, but it is important to make clear that the pandemic is not over yet."
As such, together with the Board of Health, the Governor determined that the new guidelines for this "next stage" would be as follows:
1. Restricted operating hours have been lifted, but businesses must continue to operate at 50% capacity (one person for every four square meters indoors or for every two square meters outdoors).
2. All commercial activities must continue to follow all health and safety mandates. Strict adherence to sanitation protocols must be enforced by the municipalities through ongoing vigilance and inspections.
3. The general public should continue to wear masks while in public places, avoid crowds, and choose open air activities when possible. The government will continue to evaluate whether or not additional measures are necessary and make announcements when needed.
Alfaro explained that these new measures, which are meant to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on municipalities throughout the State of Jalisco, are based on three components:
1. Territorial strategy,
2. Monitoring of indicators, and
The first will establish concrete and specific measures in specific places, that is, actions will be applied by zones or municipalities depending on the epidemic behavior and the compliance that people, merchants, businessmen and sectors of the State give to the application of protocols, restrictions and sanitary recommendations.
The new indicators to be monitored are the percentage of hospital occupancy and severe cases of Covid-19, the positivity rates and the trend of active cases, all of which will be a priority to contain the coronavirus and avoid a collapse of the state hospital system.
The co-responsibility component contemplates new habits of social coexistence among Jalisco residents. Each person must apply individual responsibility to identifying risk factors in their work environments, in public spaces and at home, while at all times practicing preventive measures, such as the use of face masks, application of antibacterial gel, as well as avoiding parties or large gatherings of family or friends.
The Governor explained that in this new stage the measures will be less restrictive and will offer options to enjoy the Christmas season safely by following health protocols, applying social distancing and performing random serological tests in areas where large numbers of people tend to gather.
"Activities with a high concentration of people such as concerts, festivities and gatherings of a significant number of people remain canceled. We are going to have defined rules for [all of] the municipalities. Everyone has to do their part," announced the governor.
Alfaro Ramírez explained that in order to make decisions or changes in strategies, the percentage of hospital occupancy during the last seven days, the percentage of seriously hospitalized patients in the last seven days, will be taken into account, and a fortnightly evaluation will be carried out in the municipalities to verify that they are applying containment measures.
"With these three concepts, the new provisions, from this moment on, the central criterion of the measures that we will be applying for economic activity has to do with controlling capacity, controlling the number of people in a space, then the general criteria will be to determine hours and capacity of commercial activities," he pointed out.
Regarding the reopening of sectors and activities, the Governor pointed out that recreation and entertainment venues such as cultural, recreational and childcare centers, bowling alleys and sports clubs, will be able to operate again with a capacity of 50 percent as of November 17. The RecreActiva activities will also operate again from this date, with the mandatory use of face masks.
With regard to the commerce sector, Christmas markets, craft corridors and shops will be able to operate from November 17 with the restriction that there must be only one person for every two square meters [of space] and, in the specific case of stores, up to four m2.
In the tourism sector, the Tapatío Tour, Las Calandrias and the Tequila Express will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. Regarding the service sector, bars and clubs are still under review, as well as entry to sports stadiums. (In Puerto Vallarta, bars, clubs and sports stadiums are open.)
The Governor warned that if shops, establishments or any place that provides services or sells any product do not comply with the mandated health protocols, they will be sanctioned and/or subject to permanent closure.
Finally, he added that if the results of this stage are favorable, a route will be established for students to return to face-to-face classes, safely and gradually, at the beginning of 2021.
"...from the week that conditions begin to improve we will concentrate on the safe and gradual return of face-to-face classes in January. We cannot delay the return of our children to the classrooms, we would be doing them enormous damage," concluded the governor.