The Quito Municipal Council has lowered capacity limits for restaurants, shopping malls and large department stores. The council said it is considering imposing additional biosecurity measures for public spaces and may require city employees to be vaccinated.
The new ordinance was approved Monday and signed by Mayor Santiago Guarderas.
“With the emergence of the delta variant of the Covid-19 virus in the city we must reinforce our standards,” Guarderas said. “We are also concerned about the so-called Colombian variant that has properties similar to delta. It has appeared in several countries and was identified in Miami over the weekend.”
The ordinance reverses a July 5 executive order by former mayor Jorge Yunda increasing the capacity at shopping calls to 65 percent and to 70 percent for restaurants. According to Yunda, the measures were necessary to rejuvenate the economy and to add employment.
Quito follows Cuenca, Ambato and Riobamba in tightening capacity rules for restaurants and shopping centers.
Guarderas said that the 50 percent capacity requirement will be maintained for cinemas, theaters, gyms, supermarkets, mercados, auditoriums and academic events.
Several municipal council members suggested the city require a vaccination passport for entry to restaurants, malls, sporting events and cinemas. “This requirement appears to be a worldwide trend for protecting the public health and I believe we need to get onboard,” said councilman Carlos Martinez, who plans to introduce the measure at the next council meeting.