The strategy of the Government of “9 days of strict quarantine”, an impasse, and “return to strong restrictions during this weekend “, went unnoticed in the western part of the Buenos Aires province.
This Saturday and Sunday the restrictions are the same as those in force until Sunday, May 30 for the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, the City and all the municipalities of the suburbs. This was established by the Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) 334/2021 of President Alberto Fernández.
But that reopening in the middle, made many people they “forget” to comply with the closures. At least, in the hectic Buenos Aires west.
Many shops open without dissimulation. Photo Enrique García Medina
On a tour of Clarion For the Ramos Mejía, Haedo and Morón shopping centers, he found that non-essential businesses are willing to “open the same” due to the economic losses of these 14 months of pandemic. AND implement all possible variants to work without limits. And without dissimulation. For their part, the authorities did not take care to remember that there are limits this weekend.
What does the DNU say? As happened from May 22 to May 30, this weekend essential shops can open with current protocols. They are supermarkets, pharmacies, warehouses, butchers and hardware stores. The non-essential business they can only attend with pick-up at the place of scheduled purchases and without entry to the premises.
But the Buenos Aires government ruled that non-essential businesses cannot open directly in the GBA. However, the withdrawal of merchandise is not even fulfilled at the door of purchases already made. In the western part of the suburbs, it is sold and bought inside and outside the businesses.
Some merchants leave the blind semi-low. Photo Enrique García Medina
In the street there are no lines, because people enter at ease. People forgot about restrictions. The protocol and care, as before the DNU, depend on who wants to comply, on one side and the other of the counter.
The modality ranges from “have open but no”, through the veil of low blinds, past the tables that simulate the entrance brake to the premises, until doors wide open to let customers in and out.
This Saturday, on the first day of the return to restrictions, there was no “total closure” in the commercial circuit of the western zone.
In a few businesses, customers are allowed in. Photo Enrique García Medina
The municipalities, as this newspaper learned, they look more at the social climate than at the contagion curve, which at the national level does not fall below 30,000 daily cases. And that this figure was what the Ministry of Health of the Nation had imposed as the “maximum acceptable” to define whether or not to press the “red button” of confinement.
This Saturday, gastronomy is the exception to the rule in the district of La Matanza and in Morón: there are not even tables on the sidewalks and, despite the cold and cloudy day, the absence of rain encouraged take away, not only the use of delivery apps.
In theory, non-essential businesses can only deliver merchandise sold over the Internet this weekend. Photo Enrique García Medina
Ramos Mejía, with almost everything open
“Me I have it open because nobody stopped me from collecting taxes. Nobody controlled me if what I earned was enough to pay for services. Or to pay the rent of the premises, which is the worst of all, “the owner of a youth clothing store in one of the most important galleries in Ramos Mejía explains to this newspaper.
“We are a group of workers that we had to choose to close forever or bank all together, he continues-. You see that galleries are always in the spotlight, that we were closed for a long time and these 9 days of strict quarantine as well. But at the same time you see that next to it any place that faces the street is open without problem. Nobody says anything to them and now nobody says anything to us. “
In some galleries in Ramos Mejía, they display the phones of the premises at the door, so that people buy on WhatsApp. Photo Enrique García Medina
It is true that the Ramos Mejía galleries are very exposed. They have two entrances, many by Rivadavia or by Belgrano. And they cover most clothing and footwear stores, brand or not.
This particular gallery has its two entrances open, although with the curtain unfinished to rise completely. The decisions are not local by local, they are joint and, as another merchant alleges, “the sale by WhatsApp does not work.”
During the 9 days of strict confinement that ended on May 31, that same gallery was “walled up” with huge banners. In both entrances the names of the locals and their telephones hung end to end.
The businesses on Ramos Mejía Street opened this Saturday, some with the window half lifted. Photo Enrique García Medina
“By the arrangement of the galleries, there is no way online sale and take away withdrawal is possible. People prefer to see the clothes and here it is impossible. If you are from a place in the middle of the gallery, you get confused. But we ourselves, who have the window on Belgrano, cannot deliver the merchandise if it is decided that we have to be closed to avoid inspections or fines that we would pay together, “the merchant details.
On Avenida de Mayo and Rosales, where it is full of non-essential businesses that are open, five gendarmes, with their orange vests and cones and a 4×4, check permits on the cars. Nothing in the shops. And a few meters away, Necochea, the gourmet pedestrian street, is deserted of tables and little lights.
Controls are made of the circulation permits, but not of the businesses. Photo Enrique García Medina
Haedo: open businesses but few people
Entering the suburbs, Haedo was no exception to non-compliance with the decree. But in this neighborhood, which has a much smaller shopping center than Ramos, the movement of people is less noticeable. From pet shops to sportswear businesses are open, with people inside.
Open bars with people inside, in Haedo. Photo Enrique García Medina
“I know that this weekend they closed everything again, but because the media said so. I knew that it was not going to be fulfilled. The first day of the previous closing, everything was closed in Haedo. Then you forget. They will not control you if you are walking. Anyway, I’m vaccinated and I’m not going to use the car this weekend, “he tells Clarion a woman in her 65s carrying two shopping bags with the logo of a sports brand.
Haedo’s businesses opened as if there were no restrictions. Photo Enrique García Medina
A girl, in her 20s, hopes to enter a pet supply store. The place, almost on the corner, is small and inside there is a woman about to pay. As balanced food is sold in this place, it is “in order”. But it would have been the same if instead of a pet shop that girl waited and then entered the purse shop that is a few meters away, from the opposite side of the street. There are no inspectors controlling which premises were open and should enter closed.
.Morón: everyone opens and no one hides
Morón deserves a special mention for “no dissimulation”. It is a large commercial city that, on Belgrano street -on the opposite side of the Sarmiento train tracks, where the University of Morón is located- concentrates many stores of clothing, electronics and household appliances. Very few have the “rope” that slows down entry. Or the tables that act as a containment barrier. The weather screams “Come in!” Not “just online sales withdrawals.”
The movement was intense this Saturday in Morón. Photo Enrique García Medina
“The merchants of Morón depend more on the client who is passing through, who has to come down here to take another public transport to his work; on the students of the university, or on those who come to do a procedure in the municipality. It was ruined by the pandemic. weekends are when those who live in Morón go shopping, who have stayed in the neighborhood because they can’t go anywhere else. I’m not in a position to miss those sales too“sums up the owner of a lingerie store.
In many places of Morón the entrance of clients is allowed. Photo Enrique García Medina
In the national government they do not rule out implementing these intermittent periods of harsh restrictions. Next will be a week of definitions. In the West zone, without controls, many people “forgot” not to open. Or of not going out to buy.