Merchants and workers on Calle Obregón in downtown Guadalajara this week expressed their concern about the strategy taken by the state government to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to installing black bow ties and signs asking to be allowed to work, on Wednesday and Thursday store owners sounded their alarms in unison in protest at the restrictions.
Running from the San Juan de Dios market through the eastern sector of the city, Calle Obregón is one of Guadalajara’s busiest shopping “corridors,” and famed for its profusion of fayuca (contraband) merchandize. Because of the likelihood of large conglomerations of people, state authorities say stores on the street will have to stay closed in June, although most other businesses in the downtown area will be permitted to open from the first of the month.
Store owners are furious that vendors of “nonessential” items such as clothes can work unmolested in city tianguis (street markets), while their livelihoods are being destroyed.
Meanwhile, many business owners in the city center are undertaking the process of getting “sanitary certification” in preparation for opening on June 1.
The main complaint, some store owners say, is the requirement to have digital thermometers on their premises, and to check shoppers as they enter. Apart from the high cost of the devices, store owners are fearful business will suffer as shoppers tire of having to get their temperature taken every time they enter a store.
Although June 1 has been announced as the start date for nonessential businesses to reopen in Jalisco, University of Guadalajara Rector Ricardo Villanueva said Thursday that could change if the virus infection rate was to rise suddenly. Wednesday was the worst day for confirmed Covid-19 cases in the state, with 98 positive cases and five deaths.