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Mexican lawmakers voted to eliminate daylight saving time this week, a move that ends the turning of the clock twice a year, the New York Times reported Thursday.
Under the new measure, daylight saving time will not apply to the majority of the country. That means most Mexicans will change their clocks for the last time next week. However, the area along the border with the US will not be affected and clocks will continue to be changed twice a year.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is expected to sign the bill.
The upper house of parliament said on Twitter that the changes seek “to guarantee the human right to health and increase safety in the mornings, procure the well-being and productivity of the population, and contribute to saving electric energy.”
Mexico initially adopted daylight saving time in 1996 but has been debating dropping it ever since.
Supporters – such as retailers and outdoor industries – say the extra afternoon daylight increases sales because customers have more time to shop or partake in leisure activities after work or school.
Critics, however, counter that the shift disrupts people’s circadian rhythm, which is closely linked to sunlight, resulting in tiredness and more dangerous commutes in darker mornings.
Meanwhile, other countries continue to debate keeping daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time is not observed in China, India, or Russia.
In 2019, European Union lawmakers voted to end seasonal time changes and instead enable each country in the bloc to choose whether to observe daylight saving time all year or stick to standard time.