The restaurants of Mexico City live a timid reopening



The restaurants in Mexico City opened their doors on Wednesday after the confinement measures decreed a little over three months ago, in a timid reopening with a 40% capacity limit.

"These are the first customers after three months. People were locked up for a long time, so we hope that little by little it will flow," Luis Hernández, head of waiters at an Asian food restaurant, told Efe, surrounded by posters with the health protocols to follow in this reopening.

In the Condesa neighborhood, one of the capital's most fashionable neighborhood, where the Hernández restaurant is located, closed and open dining rooms alternated on Wednesday, where diners were rather few.

"At the moment the area looks very quiet, but hopefully this will begin to activate and people will come out little by little," summarized the waiter, who confirmed that several stores in the area will not open until next week.

This Wednesday the restaurants in the capital were able to reopen, not the bars, within the first week in which the epidemiological traffic light went from red to orange, which still indicates a phase of high risk of contagion.

For this reason, churches, cinemas, theaters, museums, concert halls, gyms, bars, discos, schools, amusement parks, offices and meeting rooms are still closed.

So far, the COVID-19 pandemic has left 226,089 patients in the country and 27,769 dead, while in Mexico City, the main red focus of the disease, 48,014 people have been infected and 6,560 have died.

In addition to the limitation of capacity, the capital restaurants had to adapt to the so-called new normality with hygiene and distance measures for both staff and customers.

"The person arrives, footwear is sanitized (disinfected), they are sanitized and they wash their hands and they are offered a sanitized table," Adrián Arellano, director of operations at a popular chain of taquerias, explained to Efe, while coordinating the opening from one of their premises.

Arellano stressed that, in addition to the aforementioned protocol and separating the occupied tables, the centerpieces and the usual cards have disappeared, replaced by "a QR code or if the person does not have their cell phone at hand, they are given a disposable menu."

The director of operations assured that this reopening, even if it is 40%, will "come in handy for sales."

"We have partitions, we have washing furniture, we have signs, the menus are now disposable, masks and supplies. It has been invested but I think it is convenient," he summarized.

The few customers who decided to go to restaurants, such as Luw, an American who lives in the Countess, also appreciated the move.

"I am always eager for the Countess to have the life she has always had," he said from a café terrace, convinced that people will overcome fear because they do not know of "any case that has touched the pandemic."

"I was like a locked kitten, and I think freedom and going out are part of a social issue and a need to live together, even if it is at a healthy distance," said another client, Lucía, on the first day of reopening.

Lucia warned that "this is a disease that continues and will continue in homes", but assured that it is necessary to leave despite the health and especially the economic situation.

"Apart from fear, people do not have money. I who have a solvent economic situation, as a businesswoman I have businesses, I am fatal. There are times that I do not have for a drink. Imagine how the people who live day by day are," she said. .

After the non-essential economy closed in April and May, Mexico began a slow reopening in June based on a four-color traffic light that determines the risk of contagion in each of the 32 states.

In addition, the population is recommended to stay at home as much as possible and maintain strict hygienic measures.

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