Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico – With Semana Santa (Mexico’s two-week-long celebration of Easter and a time for families to enjoy a “Spring Break” vacation) impending, on Monday, March 30, the Mexican Government declared a national health emergency and issued stricter mandates aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Every year during the Easter vacation period, an estimated one out of every five Mexicans – around 20 million people – travel, and Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular beach destinations for those looking for a few days of fun-in-the-sun.
But not this year.
At a national press conference on Wednesday, April 1, Federal Health Prevention and Promotion undersecretary, Hugo López Gatell, said, “According to the emergency sanitary and security measures established by the Ministry of Health, there cannot be more than 50 people gathered in any given place. Therefore, all tourist activity on Mexico’s beaches, be it for international or national tourism, is suspended until further notice.”
With this mandate, he effectively called off the Semana Santa celebrations.
During his Wednesday afternoon press conference, Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez announced the suspension of all tourist activities throughout the State of Jalisco, and asked those who usually visit during the Easter holidays not to come this year.
“In light of the national health emergency, this is the time to stay at home and take care of your family, not the time to take a vacation,” he said.
Rephrasing his request, he said that all hotels, bars, tours, and public gathering places, such as plazas, parks and public beaches, are closed in Puerto Vallarta and all other coastal destinations in the state during the Semana Santa vacation period, so please say at home.
“If anyone was thinking that their social isolation setting could be moved from their homes to these tourist destinations, they are wrong, that cannot happen. We need the solidarity of the people to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
In a message on social networks, the Governor pointed out that, in addition to the closing of all beaches and tourist-related activities, religious tourism and the various pilgrimages that traditionally take place throughout the state during Holy Week will not be allowed this year.