Venezuela To Reopen Beaches As COVID-19 Infections Decrease

Venezuela To Reopen Beaches As COVID-19 Infections Decrease

Venezuela will reopen its beaches and resorts, as well as hotels and inns, closed to the public since March, amid a decrease in confirmed cases of covid-19, President Nicolás Maduro announced this Sunday.

Starting October 19th, “in the field of commercial sectors associated with tourism, we are going to make inns and hotels, beaches and spas more flexible,” said the president in a televised broadcast, without providing further details on biosafety measures for it.

Maduro also allowed outdoor activities and public events in open spaces whose capacity does not exceed 40% of its capacity; as well as the opening of clubs, amusement parks, cable cars, drive-ins, restaurants, liquor stores, among other businesses.

In addition, he continued, public bodies such as the Administrative Service for Identification, Migration and Foreigners (Saime) will open, which had been closed since March, when the virus arrived in the Caribbean country and a quarantine was ordered still in force with flexibilities.

“We are taking a measure that we have envisioned, necessary and possible, on time,” said the president.

The measure was announced amid a “sustained trend” of “decline” in cases of the new coronavirus in this country of 30 million inhabitants, with 86,636 confirmed cases and 736 deaths, according to official figures.

This Sunday, the official balance showed 347 daily infections, in contrast to 684 daily cases registered a week ago.

The opposition and organizations such as Human Rights Watch, however, question the official balance sheets as not very credible.

“The curve has flattened!”, The Chavista ruler celebrated, although he asked “not to lower our guard” before the pandemic.

These flexibilities are framed in the “7 + 7” scheme in force since June, which alternates seven days of “radical quarantine”, when all businesses are forced to close except those in prioritized sectors such as food or health, with seven days of “flexibilization” that allow activities to be reactivated.

Last Wednesday, Maduro ordered the reopening of tourist spaces nationwide “gradually” starting in December under biosafety protocols against covid-19.

A day later, he promised that Venezuela will receive commercial flights from the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Turkey in December, after more than seven consecutive months of a ban on air operations.

The virus found the Caribbean country plunged into the worst crisis in its recent history, with hyperinflation and almost seven years of recession.

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