Mexico To Temporarily Close Chichen Itza Ruin Site

In the state of Quintana Roo, located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico as part of the Yucatan peninsula, authorities are alarmed by the “hundreds” of vacationers who are walking around without masks.

Lucio Hernández Gutiérrez, the state’s acting police chief, patrolled the streets of the popular resort town of Tulum today, issuing reminders that face masks must be worn in public and dismayed at how few people were abiding by the public health order.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“It is regrettable to see how undisciplined things have become,” said Lucio Hernández Gutiérrez. “It was truly frustrating to see hundreds of people walking around without face masks,” pointing out that tourists were the worst offenders. “It really is embarrassing that we have to get to this point, of asking people (to wear masks), when we should be conscious of the risks we face.”

As Mexico prepares for a flood of Easter Week visitors, federal authorities have chosen to close the site of the ruined Mayan city of Chichén Itzá—typically a big tourist draw—in Yucatan state from April 1-4 to avoid crowding that could potentially spread COVID-19. The vast temple complex typically draws around 1.8 million visitors each year, and is Mexico’s second most-visited archaeological zone, according to USA Today.

2021 will mark the second consecutive year in which Latin America’s most celebrated re-enactment of Christ’s crucifixion will be held in Mexico City in the absence of any spectators. Instead, the multi-day celebration will be broadcast to the public.

In the years leading up to the pandemic, the event (which has been held in the borough of Iztapalapa since 1843) was drawing roughly two million attendees, but authorities have deemed such large crowds to be too risky amid COVID-19. Last year, the spectacle was closed to the public for the first time in its 177-year history.

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