Mexico is sending government agents to Cancun and Quintana Roo to monitor hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and other tourist areas to help slow the infection rate of COVID-19.
The surveillance agents are there to keep a closer eye on whether heavily traveled visitor destinations in the popular tourist area are practicing safe, healthy and sanitary protocols, including social distancing and the wearing of face masks.
"We are facing a very important moment," said Carlos Joaquin, the Governor of Quintana Roo, according to the Cancun Sun. "What we do will be reflected in what will happen in the coming weeks."
Cancun and other tourist destinations in Mexico have been placed on orange alert, part of the country's designation system for the severity of the virus. Orange means that well-populated tourist spots, including hotels and other establishments, should operate at reduced capacity and enforce temperature checks, mask-wearing and more.
The next, and top, designation after orange is a red alert.
The enhanced surveillance might be in response, in part, to a general lack of enforcement in the Cancun area. The Sun, for instance, noted that the Hootiefest music festival featuring Hootie and the Blowfish is ongoing in Cancun right now, but tweets and other social media posts have shown crowds of hundreds packed tightly for the concerts and not wearing masks.
As if COVID isn't bad enough, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico this week issued a security warning on travel to Quintana Roo.
"In light of recent security incidents and criminal activity in popular tourist destinations including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise increased caution when traveling to the state of Quintana Roo," the Embassy wrote. "Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state, including areas frequented by U.S. citizen visitors."
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