Mobility Restrictions in Mexico Under the Traffic LightBy Alejandro Enríquez | Fri, 05/15/2020 - 17:32
For two weeks, countries in Western Europe and in Asia have been designing adequate schemes under which lockdown measures will end. Now, Mexico is undergoing the same path as early this week the Mexican Ministry of Economy announced the three-stage plan for Mexico to return to the "new normal."
"We need this plan to be crystal clear, to provide clarity, certainty and safety to the citizens, their work, companies and state and municipal governments," said Minister of Economy Graciela Márquez during the press conference where the plan was presented.
The plan will consist on three different stages and a preliminary phase until May 17 to prepare all the necessary sanitary checkpoints. The first stage starts with what the government has called "municipalities of hope," which are those where there has been zero contagion and are surrounded by other municipalities with the same conditions. There are 269 municipalities of hope across 15 states. On May 18, all activities will be restored, including those at working places and schools, with proper health measures to avoid contagion.
The second stage will take place between May 18 and May 31. "The second stage is where we are going to publish the necessary protocols and guidelines that must be followed to grant a safe restart on different activities," said Márquez. During this stage, only essential activities will be allowed to operate.
During the second stage the federal government will conduct an assessment on the state of contagion across different municipalities. There will be four colors: red, orange, yellow and green. Depending on the color, different activities would be allowed. For instance, under a red category only essential activities could continue. When orange, operations can start at a reduced capacity and so on. Municipalities of hope can be considered an example of a green-light region.
The traffic-light system will be the basis for stage three, which will begin on June 1. Depending on the category municipalities fall in, different measures must be observed. Only in the green-light category social activities will be fully restored. This will be what the Mexican government has called the "new normal" for Mexico.
This traffic-light system has been implemented in other countries like France and India. France implemented a green-red system under which lockdown measures could be lifted. India implemented a system similar to Mexico's, where three kind of zones can be identified depending on the number of contagions during the previous days. Green zones are the ones with zero contagions over the last 28 days, orange zones over the last 14 days and red where there is the higher concentration of COVID-19 patients. The light at the end of the tunnel might be green after all.