Health protocols in place, ready for arrival of monarch butterflies

Michoacán sanctuaries prepare to receive tourists with Covid-19 precautions in place

Published on Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Monarch butterfly sanctuaries in Michoacán are preparing to receive tourists for the upcoming arrival of the migrating butterflies, which is expected to begin around November 1. But visitors this year will find new health and safety protocols in place to protect them from Covid-19.

The butterfly population has already begun its journey from Canada and is expected to arrive on time at sanctuaries in Sierra Chincua and El Rosario, said Roberto Molina Garduño, a hotelier and tourism promoter who spoke with El Universal.

The monarchs typically stay in Michoacán for about five months.

Because the sanctuaries are in the open air, the risk of spreading Covid-19 is low. Nevertheless, said Molina, stringent safety protocols will be in place, including mask and social distancing requirements, capacity limits of only 20 visitors at a time, and temperature checks at entrances.

Tours will be coordinated along different routes within the sanctuaries to avoid visitors encountering groups, and there will be time limits on how long people may visit.

According to Molina, the Ministry of Tourism has yet to launch a campaign to promote the migration, which he said indirectly benefits hotels and other tourist-based establishments in the area. The sanctuary in El Rosario alone supports more than 5,000 tourism workers and has the potential to generate over 3 billion pesos for the region.

“We are calling upon government officials to pay attention to promoting the butterflies, a distinctive feature of not only Michoacán but of the region and all of Mexico,” Molina said.

The official opening to the public of the monarch biosphere reserve is planned for November 18.



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