Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Argentina to launch COVID-19 recovery plan, gradually ease restrictions staring July 18. Traffic and business disruptions remain.

  • Alert Begins: 17 Jul 2020 11:51 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 02 Aug 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 plan to initiate the nation's six-stage coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery plan and begin easing disease-related restrictions July 18, despite having extended the country's existing quarantine measures through at least Aug. 2. Argentina's plan prescribes a staggered approach to economic recovery, with individual jurisdictions being allowed to reopen businesses and services based on local disease activity and confirmed case statistics. However, authorities are cautioning a spike in confirmed cases could prompt restrictions to be tightened or reimposed.

In the city of Buenos Aires, residents will be permitted to exercise outdoors between 1800-1000 starting July 18; stay at home orders will be eased between the hours of 1000-1800 beginning July 27. Small retail stores not located in malls will be permitted to resume operations July 20. Clothing stores, car washes, offices, and other professional services will open July 22. Barber shops and hair salons will be allowed to reopen July 29. Public transport in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area will remain limited to use by employees of essential businesses and services. In the province of Buenos Aires, industrial parks may resume operations July 20, while retail stores may open July 22.

The governors of Chaco, Jujuy, and Rio Negro provinces will announce details of their respective administrations' plans to reopen the economy and ease restrictions within their jurisdictions in near future.

Nationwide, cinemas, theaters, clubs, and cultural centers will remain closed. Tourism activities remain banned. The ban on gatherings of more than 10 people remains in effect. Residents are required to wear protective face coverings and adhere to social distancing guidelines when in public.

A ban on entry by all non-resident foreign nationals remains in place until further notice. Departing flights for repatriation purposes have occurred in limited numbers. International cargo and humanitarian transport has not been affected; however, drivers and flight crews may be subject to enhanced screening measures. The government has suspended the sale of tickets for all commercial passenger flights through at least Sept. 1. Within the country, generally only essential workers are permitted to travel between provinces; authorities have established checkpoints along thoroughfares to enforce internal travel restrictions.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

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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