By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
While people across Mexico struggle to stock their pantries and convince their children to scrub their hands with soap and water in the face of the growing novel coronavirus epidemic, one of the first and most severely injured victims of the Covid-19 crisis is the nation’s hospitality industry.
Although Mexico City is still in Phase 1, which will set the framework for Phase 2 and 3 if the disease continues to spread, the Mexican city government, the restaurant and hotel sectors have already begun to feel the pinch.
According to data provided by the Mexico City Tourism Secretariat, restaurants alone account for 30 percent of the tourism industry, which in turn, represents more than 17 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, rough $209 million annually.
Moreover, the restaurant industry accounts for more than 9 percent of direct jobs in Mexico, without counting supply chain workers.
Although under Phase 1 norms, restaurants that follow Mexican Public Health Secretariat and Mexico City Public Health Secretariat guidelines are allowed to remain open with additional hygiene practices and safe distancing between tables, many individual and chain restaurants have already closed their doors and occupancy in those that remain open has dropped by as much as 40 to 70 percent, according to some estimates (there are no official figures at this time).
But according to a recent report issued by the European Food Safety Authority, there is no scientific evidence that food is a conduit of Covid-19.
In fact, while researchers continue to investigate the transmission process of the virus, as of yet, not a single case of the more than 225,000 cases worldwide has been linked to food transmission.
Based on how the virus has advanced in other countries worldwide, it seems likely that Mexico will soon progress to Phase 2 and 3, thus requiring most restaurants to shutter their doors and only offer takeout and delivery services.
But in the meantime, if these eateries follow the new hygiene outlines provided by government services and if people maintain safe distances, there is no reason why Mexicans and people in Mexico cannot eat out in restaurants.
In order to get that message across, and to provide information as to which restaurants are pen and offering safe, clean delivery and takeout, a group of more than 60 Mexican print and broadcast media (including Pulse News Mexico, which is a founding member with a leadership role), working closely with and based on information provided by Mexico City authorities, have united to create a campaign to help struggling restauranteurs and their staff, along with a public platform of clear, verified and continually updated information on restaurants in Mexico,
The new campaign, titled #ComeCDMX, will work closely with both restaurants and delivery services and try to provide public information based on colonias and precincts as to which eateries are offering takeout and delivery services.
Pulse News Mexico is fully committed to helping top keep all our readers safe and healthy in the midst of this global crisis and will update all information on Covid-19 as it becomes available.