By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
All cars in Mexico City will now have to comply with the Day-without-a-Car program, regardless of the air quality sticker (inspection sticker, or calcomanía), Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced late Tuesday, April 21.
The new ruling, which will take effect as of Thursday, April 23, will mean that even cars with Zero or Double Zero emission calcomanías will have to cease circulating one day a week based on their car’s licence plates.
The New Mexico City ordinance will apply to all cars with emission stickers, Including those from the adjoining State of Mexico.
Speaking in a video that was broadcast citywide via television and internet platforms, Sheinbaum explained that this measure was being implemented to help reduce traffic in the city during the most dangerous Phase 3 period of the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico.
As of April 23, all cars in Mexico City with licence plates ending with 5 or 6 cannot circulate on Mondays, those ending with 7 or 8 cannot circulate on Tuesdays, those ending with 3 or 4 cannot circulate on Wednesdays, those ending with 1 or 2 cannot circulate on Thursdays, and those ending with 0 or 1, as well as those with temporary plates, cannot circulate on Fridays.
Sheinbaum said that exceptions will be made for vehicles used for public transportation (buses, taxis and Ubers) and the transport of goods will be exempted from the new regulations, as will those used by persons with special needs.
The mayor also announced that, also starting Thursday, April 23, public transport services such as the metro and Metrobus will be reduced by 20 percent, and municipal authorities will be checking nonessential companies to verify that they are not operating during the contingency.
Those companies that violate the ruling will be issued financial penalties.
Notwithstanding, Sheinbaum said that while her government is calling on all nonessential workers to stay home and practice social distancing and surgical mask-wearing when on public transportation, there will be no official curfew nor ticketing of those who do not comply.
She said that as of Tuesday, April 21, Mexico City has had 2,710 confirmed cases of covid-19, and 190 deaths.
She likewise said that roughly 35 percent of the city’s intensive care beds and respirators are now being used by covid-19 patients.
“The government has a responsibility (in the fight against the virus),” Sheinbaum said, “but so does the public. We will all work together to move forward.”
Mexico officially entered Phase 3 of the pandemic’s progression on Tuesday, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the stage — when covid infections are expected to peak — in his early morning press conference.
…April 21, 2020