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The mayor of Mexico City said on Friday the Mexican capital will next week lift restrictions on car traffic and public transport, and allow 340,000 factory works to get back to work, even though new cases of coronavirus are still rising.

Mexico City and the adjacent urban sprawl are home to more than 21 million people, and the region accounts for more than 40% of some 139,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country. On Friday Mexico reported a record of more than 5,000 new cases.

“We think next week the city can begin a process of very orderly transition,” said Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, noting there had been a slight drop in hospital occupancy rates and that the city’s contagion alert level was close to coming down a notch.

Curbs on vehicle traffic and public transport are due to be eased on Monday and factories will start opening on Tuesday under strict sanitary protections, the city government said.

On Thursday, small shops will have permission to reopen, while professional services and scientific workers linked to “industry” can go back as of Friday, it added.

If conditions are deemed suitable, street markets and the historic center of the city will reopen the week of June 22-28.

(Reporting by Raul Cortes; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Photo Credit: Areas like the downtown in Mexico City (pictured) will see more bustle as lockdown restrictions are lifted on Monday. Context Travel / Flickr