Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Argentina extends nationwide COVID-19 social isolation plan through Oct 11. Stricter measures reapplied in some areas.

Alert Begins 21 Sep 2020 04:12 PM UTC
Alert Expires 12 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions; increased security

Summary
Authorities in Argentina have extended the nationwide social isolation measures that form part of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and recovery plan until at least Oct. 11. Generally, measures across the country vary by province or city; provincial governments have the authority to specify their own measures in addition to those enforced at the national level.

As of Sept. 21, although several municipalities across the country are in the advanced stages of recovery, certain local authorities are considering or have already rolled back some reopening plans in response to higher local disease activity. Some local governments will enforce temporary movement restrictions specifically for Dia del Estudiantes (Day of Students) on Sept. 21; authorities in Mendoza Province, as well as Catamarca Province (Belen, Catamarca, Fray Mamerto Esquiu, La Paz and Valle Viejo), and Cordoba Province (Rio Cuarto) will reimpose Phase 1 restrictions through Sept. 22 for the holiday. Stricter business and movement restrictions are still in place in Buenos Aires Metropolitan Region; however, the region is simultaneously continuing its reopening plan.

Phase 1 restrictions, which include the strictest quarantine measures, are being enforced in localized areas of the provinces of Chaco, Jujuy, La Rioja, Mendoza, Salta, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, and Tierra del Fuego provinces in response to higher disease activity. The status of all municipalities is subject to amendment at short notice and is constantly evolving. Generally under Phase 1, which may be applied with different variations, residents are still allowed outside, but only for essential activities, such as purchasing food and medicine or attending jobs in essential and critical sectors, such as government, health, security, and the production of essential goods. Approved businesses deemed to be critical may also continue to operate. Outdoor exercise is permitted 1800-1000. Most cultural, recreational, religious events, and any other involving mass gatherings are prohibited.

Nationwide Measures
All indoor social gatherings remain banned; though outdoor social gatherings with no more than ten people are permitted. Cinemas, theaters, clubs, and cultural centers remain closed. Tourism activities remain banned. Residents are required to wear protective face coverings and adhere to social distancing guidelines when in public. Outside these restrictions, quarantine orders have been largely lifted. Most businesses have been permitted to reopen across all provinces, with the exception of cities currently in Phase 1.

International and Domestic Travel
A ban on entry by all nonresident foreign nationals remains in place until further notice. Departing flights for repatriation purposes have occurred in limited numbers. International cargo, medical, and humanitarian transport are exempt; however, truck drivers and aircraft flight crews may be subject to enhanced screening measures. Most domestic and international commercial passenger flights are suspended until at least October; however, the government has made agreements with some European and regional carriers to offer limited flights out of Buenos Aires. Within the country, generally only essential workers are permitted to travel between provinces; authorities have established checkpoints along thoroughfares to enforce internal travel restrictions. All measures are subject to amendment at short notice.

Advice
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent hand-washing 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.


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