Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Colombia extends existing nationwide restrictions through Aug. 30 due to COVID-19 activity; some nonessential businesses remain open.
- Alert Begins: 29 Jul 2020 06:42 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 12 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Significant international and internal transport disruptions, business disruptions, increased security
Colombian authorities have extended their existing nationwide restrictions through at least Aug. 30 as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Some nonessential businesses remain open at limited capacity.
Residents must continue to remain inside their homes except to perform essential tasks, such as working at an approved business, providing a critical service, or engaging in outdoor exercise. Persons over 70 years of age must still self-quarantine but may exercise outdoors three times a week for half an hour a day.
All open establishments must continue to follow strict safety and sanitation guidelines. Limits may be placed on operating capacity. Municipal officials have the authority to suspend certain activities or enforce tighter movement restrictions.
The following restrictions will remain in place nationwide:
- Restaurants may operate in a limited capacity, providing delivery and carryout service only.
- Entertainment establishments, including cinemas, theaters, bars, nightclubs, and casinos, will remain closed.
- Spas and sporting facilities, such as gymnasiums and swimming pools, will remain closed. Group exercise and contact sports are prohibited.
- Religious services involving crowds or meetings are prohibited.
- The country's land, air, and maritime borders will remain closed except for cargo and humanitarian aid transport.
In addition to the nationwide measures, some local jurisdictions could enforce tighter movement restrictions or impose temporary localized curfews. In Bogota, residents are only permitted to leave their homes for shopping and banking on predetermined days based on the last digit of their national identity card or passport number.
Despite the relaxing of some restrictions, transport and business disruptions remain possible. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Colombian government are similar to actions taken by other governments globally 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). On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Colombian President Ivan Duque explained the gradual reopening of the economy would take into consideration specific characteristics of departments and cities, such as population density. Restrictions may vary by location. Local governments are permitted to suspend activities depending on the amount of confirmed cases. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.
Follow all official instructions. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for long lines and delays at available shopping centers. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo.
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.