After the alert due to the increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) infections on the Island, there is undoubtedly concern. Especially in regards to the tourism industry. Many municipalities have established individual precautionary measures to limit the spread of the virus, including the closure of spas and even the curfew.
The municipality of Toa Baja houses the Punta Salinas Spa and the Isla de Cabras National Park, two important attractions tourist managed by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA), which remain available for the recreation of visitors according to the provisions of the new executive order, and operating at 50% capacity. So are the little beach of Palo Seco and the gastronomic routes of Palo Seco and Avenida Boulevard, in Levitown, with about twenty restaurants. However, the municipal administration has preferred to maintain a "conservative" position regarding the entry of tourists to the town. At least, this was stated by Mayor Bernardo 'Betito' Márquez García, in an interview with EL VOCERO.
“The arrival of the virus drastically changed the way of doing many things, including managing and promoting. We are aware of the need for local merchants, but we also know that life can go away here. And any action taken could turn into a situation of massive contagion, which can go from responsibility to irresponsibility, "he said.
And it is that although Márquez García acknowledges the economic impact that Toa Baja has had since decree of 'lockdown' in March, the town's tourism development strategy has been focused on “protecting the most precious thing: health,” he noted.
Currently, the town located on the north coast of the island has had a total of 62 positive cases to Covid-19 in molecular tests, which for the municipal executive is “worrying.”
“We have given up promoting internal tourism and keeping the spaces available for the enjoyment of the residents of Toa Baja. However, we urge all Puerto Ricans who decide to come to our city – whether to enjoy the varied gastronomic offer or visit the attractions available for sports recreation – to do so following the established health security measures, "emphasized Márquez García.  “It is a difficult situation. We seek to work responsibly establishing strategies to deal with the situation day by day, which has led us to be aggressive in promoting caution since the reopening, and to be conservative in managing tourism in the municipality. It is everyone's responsibility to be alert at all times, "he added.
In light of the new announcement by Governor Wanda Vázquez about the Collective health security measures that came into effect yesterday, Friday, July 17, several projects in the municipality of Toa Baja will be placed in a 'status quo' until July 31. Among them is the family outdoor cinema project, which the administration modified by moving it to the Antonio R. Barceló Coliseum parking lot, giving it a 'drive in' twist, since the properties can accommodate between 150 and 200 vehicles, with their respective distancing.
“We are in talks with the intention of resuming this activity on weekends and creating an opportunity for recreation among the people of Toabaje. However, we are still determining the appropriate protocols to make it a safe and controlled leisure activity. Since being an event open to the public, it is understood that attendees will want to consume their 'pop corn' and other goodies, aspects that must be considered, "said the mayor.
For this same date, in previous years , the municipality of Toa Baja had received more than 100,000 people participating in the three-day event known as “'Las Fiestas de la Boulevard”, at the same time that they received hundreds of visitors in their spas. Not counting those who attended the variety of sporting events that served as the main tourist activity in the town, which were canceled, with the exception of bicycle races on the so-called “Ruta del Encanto”, which sports enthusiasts have been doing every Sunday — from June 21— 6:00 am at 11:00 a.m. at the Puente de las Banderas on Highway 165.
“Being a city that promotes sports, we have insisted on inviting citizens to continue performing their outdoor exercise routine with due precautions and physical distance, as in this case, bicycle tours ", he concluded.