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Tips for restaurants in Oaxaca Mexico during COVID-19: consider staying closed

Oaxaca de Juárez, a picturesque colonial city in south central Mexico that relies on tourism for its existence, relaxed its COVID-19 protocols in early July 2020. And as we approach summer, so have other cities. all over the world. They also depend on the visitors. Restaurants have started to open. Should they, just because of a change in municipal rules and regulations, especially as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise?

While Mexico is fortunately far behind the United States in terms of a litigation-happy public, nonetheless, attitudes toward responsibility are changing, even in Oaxaca. Two questions come to mind:

  1. Are you going to make an appreciable difference in your results with your restaurant open, assuming that tourists are not yet ready to visit Oaxaca and frequent your restaurant?

  2. Are you prepared to follow good advice, perhaps stricter than your city dictates, to avoid the prospect of a customer or staff member getting sick; And if not, are you willing to take the risk of what may come as a consequence?

Tourists will not return to Oaxaca in appreciable numbers for several months. If your restaurant relies on tourism to increase its numbers, it won’t happen just because it opens its doors now. Isn’t it better that you stay closed and continue to offer takeout and delivery only? Consider the advice of a former litigator, someone who has witnessed how some restaurants in another Mexican city in July have been dealing with COVID-19:

  1. You cannot use half of your tables.

  2. Before entering, customers must step on a special mat, take their temperature, receive antibacterial hand gel, cover their face, present photo identification, and complete and sign a form that answers various questions related to their health in the past. . two weeks.

  3. In the restaurant, staff must wear a plastic face shield and protector, and cutlery, whether plastic or stainless steel, must be sealed with plastic.

  4. Menus must be available online to access only with a smartphone or alternatively, disposable paper menus can be used.

Other protocols will likely be considered, as advised by your experienced liability litigation attorney.

The goals are to ensure that neither customers nor staff are exposed to COVID-19, and if someone becomes ill with the virus, the restaurant and its owners reduce the likelihood of liability.

If someone, for example a boss, gets sick, who will they blame? The news will spread everywhere, quickly. Not only may your restaurant be closed and quarantined for a period of time, but when tourism returns to visitors, they may be reluctant to patronize your establishment.

You won’t make a profit without tourism, so your motivation for the opening could be to support Oaxaca residents who yearn for its exquisite cuisine at a reasonable price. They can still use takeout or delivery, and this reduces the likelihood of them getting sick, or at least blaming their lax protocols if they do. You might also consider supporting your staff. And your health?

It is suggested that restaurants are simply not worth opening until Oaxaca announces the green light, and even then, it is recommended to follow some of the protocols mentioned above. Better safe than sorry. Wait a bit longer, especially if yours is an indoor restaurant. And as you reflect, consider that restaurants are the only trafficked establishments where to do what is there, you must remove your mask, a protector for others.

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