Some Businesses Reopen While Others Still WaitBy Sofía Hanna | Mon, 02/08/2021 - 16:41
Non-essential businesses were shut down until further notice at the beginning of the pandemic. Restaurants got to stay open with certain restrictions, while other service providers including department stores, book stores, cinemas and bars had to shut down entirely. Now, however, more businesses are asking to be allowed to return to business. On Feb. 2, Governor of the State of Mexico Alfredo del Mazo Maza, announced the reopening of shopping malls and department stores, albeit with stricter restrictions, and now Mexico City has followed suit.
A few weeks back, restaurants started to complain and asked to be taken into consideration for their businesses to survive. After that, it has become common and recurring for other industries to appeal to the government, hoping to be given the chance to open even with restrictions, as reported by MBN. Mexico City Minister of Economic Development (SEDECO) Fadlala Akabani mentioned the government would be discussing this issue with the city’s Epidemiological Council to find a solution that benefits everyone, reports Forbes.
So far, restaurants and shopping malls in the State of Mexico have been allowed to reopen, all of which have to comply with strict measures. “Daily sanitation (is required) at all stores before opening, as well as daily health monitoring of collaborators before entering the establishment; customer access control with temperature checks and hand disinfection; constant sanitation of high-contact surfaces; availability of sanitizer at entrances, exits and various spaces; special training for collaborators on health protocols; exclusive accesses for entrance and exit and a limited working capacity with restricted working hours,” stated ANTAD.
On Feb. 5, Mexico City also announced the reopening of shopping centers and more flexible hours for restaurants starting on Feb. 8. According to Excelsior, restaurants are now allowed to stay open until 9 p.m., only for outdoor dining. Restaurants that do not have an outdoor space are restricted to take out and delivery services, only. The use of facemasks is mandatory and stores can only work at 20 percent capacity. E-commerce is to be encouraged as much as possible.
According to Forbes, however, there are still many businesses pending to be allowed to return to operations. A previous MBN article mentioned that the National Chamber of the Film Industry (CANACINE) already asked authorities to allow theaters to reopen. Bars and clubs have now joined this plea and are negotiating with the Digital Agency for Public Innovation (ADIP) to come up with a scheme to reopen in the medium term. Book stores are also on the list. This sector lost 29 percent of its sales in 2020, which translates to MX$3.16 million (US$157,000) in losses, according to Forbes. “In the country, there are 1,590 bookstores although some have already closed permanently. Some managed to survive via digital platforms. Thirty percent of the country’s book stores are located in Mexico City and the 7 percent in the State of Mexico,” stated José Luis Arzos, President of the National Chamber of the Mexican Publishing Industry (CANIEM), in a Forbes article. “Even with digital books, the industry cannot stay afloat because Mexico is a country with a great preference for paper.”