Bars and nightclubs in Tijuana demand permission to reopen

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Pedestrians pass a popular bar on Avenida Revolucion on May 3, 2006 in Tijuana, Mexico. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Baja California officials claim it will be extremely difficult to allow bars and nightclubs in the city to reopen in the near future.

In recent days many bar owners have pushed to get their businesses open again.

“Until all these clubs finalize and put in place hygiene protocols it’s going to be difficult,” said David Gutierrez, head of Baja California’s Health Risk Protection Commission. “When someone is in a frenzy, one doesn’t reason or think, that’s why we need to be very careful with all this stuff about opening when we’re in no condition to open yet.”

On Monday, more than a thousand bar and nightclub workers staged a demonstration in downtown Tijuana demanding they be allowed to return to work, many claiming they haven’t drawn a salary in months.

Hundreds marched on Monday asking the state of Baja California to allow the reopening of bars and nightclubs. (Courtesy: Carlos Luna/El Sol de Tijuana)

More than 80 bars and nightclubs have petitioned the state for permission to open, saying they have complied with demands to institute health protocols.

But the vetting process takes time and most establishments have yet to be inspected.

“I’m worried about places that sell alcohol, where many people gather to eat and drink where there’s a lot of human contact and interaction,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez mentioned one of his inspectors received a death threat during a recent inspection.

Thousands of restaurants in Tijuana region expected to permanently close due to COVID-19

“It’s irritating and uncomfortable knowing a death threat was issued to one of your inspectors who was told he will be dead when the sun rises,” he said.

Gutierrez did not single out the business nor the person who allegedly made the death threat. All he would say is that it happened in the Zona Norte, a part of town known for its strip joints and brothels.

“We’ve been told an apology is forthcoming. In the heat of the moment, sometimes you tend to say things, sadly what comes out of someone’s mouth is hard to take back,” said Gutierrez.

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