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Thanks To Disrespectful And Maskless Tourists, Authorities Have Closed Down Chichén Itzå

Fresh on the heels of Spring Break travelers from the United States, Mexico is facing another surge in tourism as Mexicans celebrate Semana Santa. The week long vacation period is traditionally the countries busiest travel season as residents flee the cities for the beaches and popular tourist attractions like Chichen Itza

However, thanks to the pandemic, this year is obviously going to look very different. Even though travelers are required to wear masks in public places, many travelers are ignoring this common-sense safety measure and putting lives at risk.

Mexican authorities have decided to close the popular Mayan temple complex of Chichén Itzå after local officials expressed frustration Friday about tourists not wearing face masks. Police in the Yucatan state of Quintana Roo have been angry as they patrol the streets of the popular resort of Tulum, reminding people to wear masks and criticizing how few people did.

“It is regrettable to see how undisciplined things have become,” said Lucio HernĂĄndez GutiĂ©rrez. “It was truly frustrating to see hundreds of people walking around without face masks,” noting that tourists were the worst offenders.

“It really is embarrassing that we have to get to this point of asking people [to wear masks] when we should be conscious of the risks we face,” he told ABC News.

Federal authorities took the steps to close the attraction, at least from April 1-4, to avoid the possible spread of the coronavirus. The sprawling temple complex is Mexico’s second-most visited archaeological site and usually draws about 1.8 million visitors a year.

A popular natural attraction in the state of Oaxaca, known as Hierve el Agua, was closed by the local community indefinitely out of fear for the virus but also that the tourism to the site wasn’t benefiting the local community.

And for the second year in a row, Latin America’s most famous reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ will be held without spectators in Mexico City. The multi-day ceremony will be broadcast instead,

The spectacle had drawn about 2 million spectators in recent years, but authorities said such big crowds would be too risky during the pandemic.

The detailed performance has played out in the borough of Iztapalapa since 1843, but was closed to the public in 2020 for the first time in 177 years because of the virus. It was first performed in 1843 after a cholera outbreak threatened the then-rural hamlet.

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