Rogue bars open without permission in popular Baja tourist destination

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This photo shows an oceanside view of Rosarito, Mexico, Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Hans-Maximo Musielik)

ROSARITO, Baja California, Mexico (Border Report) — According to the state of Baja California, bars are supposed to be closed in accordance to COVID-19 restrictions.

But this weekend, in an apparent disregard of authority, at least 10 bars in Rosarito Beach, located on the coast about 25 minutes south of Tijuana, opened their doors to mostly Americans from Southern California.

Witnesses said the nightclubs were serving alcohol at discounted prices.

In recent weeks, there has been a push to reopen bars in the Tijuana region, but Baja Gov. Jaime Bonilla has been adamant that bars will not be allowed to reopen until the COVID-19 pandemic is under wraps and clubs institute health protocols.

Witnesses also reported that no social distancing was seen in the clubs and that the use face coverings was inconsistent among patrons.

When questioned about the bars in question, Bonilla once again emphasized the need to keep them closed.

“We are not reopening bars, some businesses are being allowed but only after operators ask for it and only if they pass inspections making sure they are following protocols,” he said.

The governor did not say is these bars faced any punishment. But in the past, state officials have threatened rogue establishments with fines and the revocation of their licenses.

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