SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Santa Fe Plaza draws millions of people each year. Despite the pandemic visitors from neighboring states are still making their way to the tourist hot spot. Some people aren’t following the rules.
Foot traffic is picking up once again around the Santa Fe Plaza, “I needed to get out of Texas. We just planned it while we were in quarantine,” says Julia Cisneros.
The city is seeing an increase in tourists, “It was great for me because it was a drivable distance,” Cisneros says.
Downtown shop owners and tourism officials say they are seeing more people not wearing masks. “Locals they are mostly wearing masks. Mostly people from out of town, younger generation refuse to wear masks,” Downtown Store Owner Fabrizio Giovenini says.
“Unfortunately they are coming from states that don’t require them so it’s a matter of getting use to it,” says Tourism Director Randy Randall.
Not every tourist is breaking the rules. “We don’t know everything we need to know about the virus yet. You just don’t know where you’re going to pick stuff up,” Cisneros says.
The city has equipped restaurants hotels and businesses with packs of masks to give to customers who come in without one. “A tourist comes here because they trust that we have a safe environment from them but we have to make sure we can trust that visitor coming into our city as well to not spoil that safe environment,” Randall says.
They’ve also ordered 100 signs that will be placed around downtown to remind people to wear masks whether they’re shopping inside a store or taking in the scenery outside. “The idea is just what both the state and our city council has said whenever you’re in a public area you should have a mask on,” Randall says.
The tourism department said people not wearing a mask on the plaza will receive a warning. Repeat offenders will get a $50 fine.