Weekend tourists flock to Ajijic and ignore Red Button rules
Despite stay-at-home orders from January 15 -31 Ajijic saw a weekend surge in tourists in the middle of a surge in new cases of Covid-19
Tourists sitting in the closed main square.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)– Despite the «Emergency Button» lockdown announced to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, tourists from Guadalajara decided to come to Ajijic for a walk, ignoring mask mandates and taped-off areas, risking the spread of more infections
While staying in hotels or going to restaurants are not completely prohibited, the vast majority of tourists went to closed public spaces, causing crowds in the streets surrounding Ajijic’s main square and the boardwalk.
The head of Culture and Tourism of the Municipality of Chapala, Gastón de la Torre, estimated that the first weekend tourist numbers were approximately 40 percent of normal for this time, but it is too early to have reliable information this soon after the Emergency Button.
In a tour of downtown Ajijic over the weekend, Laguna observed that Colón Street was crowded with tourists asking for restaurants and lodging in the area. Several people who ducked under the security tape to rest on the benches in the Plaza were removed by municipal police officers. Authorities also asked crowds of tourists on the boardwalk to leave.
«We are used to coming here because it is beautiful and quiet, the good thing is that lodging was not prohibited, because coming here was a gift planned since weeks before the Emergency Button. I think they could have open public spaces, only controlling access. It is a pity that our trip is like this», expressed Carlos from Zapopan.
On the other hand, there were visitors who came because they do not believe in the coronavirus, like Francisco from Zapopan who fervently who said he believes in population control conspiracies, which is why he doesn’t wear an uncomfortable face mask, He added that his visit was a waste because of the Covid measures and he will not return until «they stop this nonsense».
Ajijitecos commented to Laguna that they were not pleased with the tourists from Guadalajara during the Emergency Button, since they can spread the virus in an area that has already seen more than twenty Covid-related deaths due to the COVID-19.
«I am afraid that these irresponsible people are going to bring the virus here. I have many acquaintances who have lost loved ones to coronavirus; there is nothing left but to take care of ourselves and our families, and keep working; there is nothing else,» said Blanca, a local resident.
Gastón de la Torre thanked the businesses in the municipality who have followed the guidelines s best as possible, protecting the health of both tourists and their families and workers.
Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan