City buses resume service but ridership is low
The Cuenca Chamber of Transport, which represents bus owners in the municipal transit system, said ridership was “extremely low” on Monday, the first full day of service since March 16. The chamber said it could be weeks, or even months, for numbers to return to pre-Covid-19 health emergency levels.
Taxi service approved for Sundays
The National Emergency Operations Committee has lifted the Sunday restriction on taxi service. It announced Monday that rural taxis, passenger and cargo vans will also be allowed on the roads. Previously, all vehicular traffic, except that with safe conduct clearance, was banned on Sunday. ECU 911 director Juan Zapata said the change does not affect the circulation of private vehicles which is governed by the traffic light system in each canton.
Some Cuenca restaurants reopen at reduced capacity
The local Emergency Operations Committee reports that the reopening of city restaurants is happening at a rate slower than anticipated. Although more than 100 restaurants have been cleared to open at 30 percent seating capacity, many remain closed or open only for take-out service. Among restaurants that have reopened for sit-down dining are Fabianos, Hotel Santa Lucia Restaurant, Tutto Freddo, La Placita, Café del Museo, Alicias, Rosèe and Melatte. Even at reduced capacity, restaurants report limited business.
IMF predicts Ecuador economy to contract by 6.7%
In its latest report, the International Monetary Fund predicts that Ecuador’s economy will contract by 6.7%, worse than the overall decline of 5.3% for all Latin American economies. The IMF cited weakness in the oil market as well as the impact of the Covid-19 virus for the regression and said the country would face “dire liquidity problems” in the coming months. It said a rebound in oil prices could bolster the national budget outlook later in the year.