Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Día de Muertos has been an integral part of Mexican culture for centuries. This year, however, Covid-19 has scaled back festivities throughout the country. Here in Puerto Vallarta, access to the Malecón has been restricted, street festivities have been canceled, and cemeteries will remain closed.
On October 15, the Jalisco Health Secretariat notified the municipalities of the state of the official provision for cemeteries to remain closed to the population on October 31, November 1st and 2nd of this year, as well as the cancellation of all Day of the Dead celebrations, in order to prevent and contain the transmission of Covid-19.
Puerto Vallarta Mayor Arturo Dávalos Peña confirmed that the city will be in compliance with the state’s mandatory measures, and called on citizens to celebrate traditional Day of the Dead activities at home, and avoid large gatherings of people for the sake of everyone’s health and well-being.
As part of the municipality’s prevention measures against Covid-19, the deputy director of Civil Protection and Firefighters, Adrián Bobadilla García, announced that to prevent crowds from gathering on the Malecón, on October 30 and 31 Citizen Security and Civil Protection personnel will install filters at all intersections that give access to the area, as well as at the Hotel Rosita and El Caballito, requesting the use of face masks and all sanitary measures.
He went on to say that, due to the pandemic, the municipal government’s mission is to discourage people from going to the Malecón on October 31st. He added that parents should not take their children out on the streets to ask for candy on Halloween night, which, though not part of Día de Muertos celebrations, has become a tradition in recent years due to the large expat population in Puerto Vallarta.
November 2nd is a national holiday that falls on a Monday this year, which means Mexicans will have a long weekend to celebrate Día de Muertos. To discourage people from coming to Puerto Vallarta, the city official reiterated that, by decree of the Jalisco state government, from October 31 to November 2 all Day of the Dead celebrations and public events are completely prohibited.
The pantheons are going to be closed, the city council is not going to put up altars at the Presidencia, and there will be no Catrinas lining the Malecón. “Due to current health risks, we have to carry out this tradition in our homes this year, we cannot do it any other way,” he said.