Health officials do a 180, forbidding Day of the Dead gatherings at Tijuana cemeteries

Coronavirus

A woman walks past graves as Tzotzil community members commemorate the Day of the Dead at San Sebastian cemetery in San Juan Chamula, Chiapas state, Mexico on November 2, 2019. – Chamula is a Tzotzil-speaking Mayan village where Catholicism and the ancient Mayan religion are in a unique syncretism. During the “Feast of All Saints” the Chamulas invite the dead to celebrate (November 1), and on the following day to return them “to the place of burning bones” or “K’atin Bak”, the place of souls (November 2). (Photo by AGUSTIN PAULLIER / AFP) (Photo by AGUSTIN PAULLIER/AFP via Getty Images)

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Mexicans will celebrate the traditional Day of the Dead remembrance south of the border Nov. 1-2 as usual. But unlike other years, cemeteries will be off-limits for gatherings.

Just last week, Baja California health officials had said they would allow small gatherings at city-operated graveyards in observance of Day of the Dead, but the decision has been rescinded.

The cemeteries have been closed since the pandemic began.

Citing another spike in coronavirus cases, it was decided to reverse course on allowing people to visit their departed loved ones.

“Cities like Tijuana and Mexicali will not be allowed to reopen cemeteries, the risk of spreading the virus is too high,” said Alonso Pérez Rico, Baja’s Secretary of Health.

Similar facilities in smaller cities like Rosarito, Tecate and Ensenada have been cleared to reopen.

“We cannot allow municipalities with higher incidents to reopen. The likelihood of spreading the virus into November just as we’re entering the winter season is very high, and we already have cases on the rise,” Pérez Rico said.

He pointed out all of Baja California will remain on the “streetlight” system to determine openings or closures for businesses and facilities. He said most of the state remains under a red light warning.

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