Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Argentina extend mandatory nationwide quarantine through April 26 due to COVID-19. Other restrictions in place.

This alert affects Argentina

This alert began 11 Apr 2020 05:25 GMT and is scheduled to expire 27 Apr 2020 03:00 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 26
  • Impact: Border closures, significant transport and business disruptions, mandatory quarantine

Summary
Argentine authorities have extended the mandatory nationwide quarantine through at least April 26 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Security forces will continue to deploy to enforce the order. Officials, however, are planning to partially ease restrictions in parts of the country, mainly in rural or isolated regions, and for several critical industries, such as auto-workshops, in the coming days. Banks will also reopen from April 13, though they will only provide services on an appointment basis.

Under the quarantine order, residents are still allowed to venture outside, but only for essential activities, such as purchasing food and medicine or attending jobs in critical sectors, such as government, health, security, and the production of essential goods. The government has also implemented strict controls on interprovincial movements and restrictions on public transport nationwide. All domestic flights have been suspended, and a temporary entry ban for all nonresident foreign nationals into the country remains until further notice. Departing flights for repatriation purposes have occurred in limited numbers. International cargo transport is not affected; however, drivers and crews are subject to enhanced screening measures.

Other restrictions, including school cancellations, a ban on mass gatherings, and the suspension of nonessential activities, remain in effect. The government could expand its preventative measures locally over the coming days and weeks. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Argentina's government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int

Argentina Government - COVD-19 (Spanish): www.argentina.gob.ar/salud/coronavirus-COVID-19