Mexico to gradually ease lockdown starting May 18
Mexico's government on Wednesday announced that it will begin to ease the nationwide lockdown from May 18 to reactivate an economy that ground to a halt two months ago to contain the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
The plan, titled "The New Normal," will ease restrictions in three stages, Economy Minister Graciela Marquez said at a press conference.
The first stage will see economic activity resume in 269 municipalities, out of a total of more than 2,450, in 15 of the 32 states, areas that have registered zero or a low number of COVID-19 infections.
From May 18 to May 31, the second stage will see certain economic sectors begin to prepare to resume activity, including construction, mining and automotive manufacturing.
For the second phase, "we are going to provide the guidelines and the protocols we have to safeguard health, to guarantee a safe return to activities," said Marquez.
"We are going to train workers so they have a safe working environment," said Marquez, who was accompanied by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, state governors and other officials.
Stage three will begin June 1, with a color-coded alarm system, or traffic light (red, orange, yellow and green), put in place to monitor public health by region as the reopening continues, and signal the need to reinforce social distancing and other measures if needed.
Schools will not completely reopen until the system permanently signals green, Education Minister Esteban Moctezuma said.
According to Moctezuma, the school year has already advanced by as much as 73 to 80 percent, with the academic cycle set to end July 17.