Critics say Tijuana strip joints aren’t following COVID-19 precautions, should close

Border Report

An exotic dancer performs during the Exxxpoerotica in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, July 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

TIJUANA (Border Report) — There is growing criticism of strip clubs that have been allowed to reopen amidst the pandemic in Tijuana.

The biggest concern, according to Julián Palombo Saucedo, president of a tourism business group in Tijuana, is that the establishments “aren’t following hygiene protocols that were put in place as a condition for reopening.”

“There’s a risk that after having a few beers, people get relaxed and start doing away with their facemasks and start coming in contact with other people they probably don’t know,” Palombo said. “Once you’re under the influence of alcoholic drinks, you lose the notion of protection. We need to be really careful with this and bar owners aren’t asking customers to keep a safe distance according to safety protocols.”

Border Report reached out to a number of strip clubs in Tijuana for a response, and will update this story if any provide a comment.

Palombo would like to end the sale of alcohol to people showing signs of intoxication as a way to further prevent the “possible spread of COVID-19.”

“This is a desperate situation both for employees and for people who run these bars. They claim business is down by 120%, but being careful will actually benefit everyone so people can at least make a little bit of money,” Palombo said.

Others, including a state official, want strip clubs closed altogether, saying it’s difficult to practice safe distancing when you’re getting a “lap dance.”

“These nightclubs should continue to be closed,” said David Gutierrez Inzunza, head of Baja California’s Commission Against Sanitary Risks. “They shouldn’t be selling these lap dances; first, this is a health mandate; second, they ignore all the safety protocols in place and some are operating without permits.”

Gutierrez said strip clubs should be opening under safe distance protocols, operating at no more than 50 percent capacity, and health measures should be in place such as temperature checks, enforcing face masks and other measures mandated by state health officials.

“They are the same protocols we all know about, this is beyond the economy, more than just rules, more than any state agency, this is life or death,” said Gutierrez.

Border Report reached out to a number of strip clubs in Tijuana. We will update this story if any respond.

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