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Mexico City lowers pandemic alert to lowest level

By AP | Oct 19, 2021

People wear masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic in downtown Mexico City, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. Starting Monday, Mexico City lifts some of its virus restrictions, allowing bars, clubs and indoor events to fill up to 50% capacity, and massive outdoor events can fill to capacity but masks will still be required. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s capital returned to the lowest level on its COVID-19 pandemic warning system Monday for the first time since June.

In practice, the shift from the yellow to green category changes meant only small changes to daily life. Mask wearing is still common in streets of the city of 9 million, but the rhythm of life in the capital has long since regained a high degree of normalcy.

Massive outdoor events, which had been operating at 75% capacity, now face no capacity restrictions, though attendees will still be required to wear masks. The move comes just weeks ahead of Mexico City hosting a Formula 1 race.

Bars, clubs and event halls are allowed an additional hour of operation and will now stay open until 1 a.m., though with with the same health filters required at their entrances checking temperatures and providing disinfectant gel.

In announcing the changes Friday, Mexico City’s Digital Government Director Eduardo Clark said, “Fortunately, the city continues in the right direction due to the good behavior of the people.”

The number of people in the metropolitan area hospitalized with COVID-19 or suspected cases has been falling since mid-August and is nearing the low point seen in June.

The decline has continued despite the return to in-person learning in the capital’s schools last month, though many students go only part time.