Mexico officials are reportedly planning to close one of its most popular tourist destinations after hundreds of visitors and spring-break travelers were spotted without masks.
The Chichen Itza Maya ruin site on the Yucatan Peninsula — not far from popular hot spots like Cancun, Tulum and Cozumel in the state of Quintana Roo — is slated to close between April 1 and April 4 to control the spread of COVID-19, the Associated Press reported. The anticipated closure comes as more travelers touch down for spring break.
Officials said they spotted hundreds of people walking around without face coverings just one month after a number of Mexican resorts eased capacity restrictions.
“It is regrettable to see how undisciplined things have become,” said Lucio Hernández Gutiérrez, acting police chief in Quintana Roo, according to the AP.
“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,” he continued.
The temple of Chichen Itza, built by the Mayans, is Mexico’s second most-frequented archaeological site with 1.8 million people visiting per year. The tourist attraction was shut down to tourists in the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 to curb the spread of the virus and reopened with capacity limits and health restrictions, like a face mask requirement and temperature checks, in September.
Ahead of spring break, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum raised capacity limits from 30 percent to 60 percent at hotels, restaurants and beaches, Quintana Roo government officials announced on Twitter last month.