Lima beaches cordoned off to avoid covid-19 infections

On popular beaches in Lima, the capital of the country with the highest mortality from covid in the world in relation to its population, the authorities decided to cordon off spaces in the sand to avoid the crowding of bathers in the midst of an outbreak of the pandemic.

Each "box" 4×4 meters, fenced with ropes, it is separated by three meters from one another, and can be occupied by up to six people from the same family.

"There are people who have not been vaccinated and this serves to keep their distance"Paola Robles, a 20-year-old student, tells AFP on Los Yuyos beach with her little daughter and sister.

"Safe Summer", say some posters on the Los Yuyos and Agua Dulce beaches, where bathers must wear a mask at all times, except when they enter the sea.

"It seems good to me to be isolated because it protects us a lot from the new strain (omicron) that is expanding worldwide"says Glenis Perozo, a 40-year-old Venezuelan nurse who works in a Lima clinic.

The most important thing for the Lima businessman Ricardo Bravo, who went to the beach with his family, is "prevent the spread of this virus that has caused so many deaths".

A year ago, the Peruvian government closed the beaches for two weeks during the end of the year holidays to avoid crowds and the spread of covid-19.

"We are keeping our distance, now we are more organized. It’s nice to go back to the beach after almost two years of pandemic"said Pamela Huayra, 26, who came to Los Yuyos from the Santa Anita district of Lima.

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Peru faces an outbreak of the pandemic: in the last month, infections have doubled to more than 1,500 per day and deaths to more than 50 per day.

Due to the outbreak, the Peruvian government banned family gatherings and parties at Christmas and New Years, and reinforced the vaccination campaign, which reaches 72% of the population.

Peru accumulates more than two million cases of covid-19, causing more than 201,000 deaths in the country. The Andean country of 33 million inhabitants has the highest death rate from the pandemic in the world, 6,122 per million inhabitants, according to an AFP balance based on official figures.

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