Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Colombia extends nationwide lockdown through at least May 11 due to COVID-19. International and domestic flights suspended through May 30.

This alert affects Colombia

This alert began 21 Apr 2020 10:15 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 11
  • Impact: Significant international and internal transport disruptions, business disruptions, increased security

Summary
President Ivan Duque has announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown until May 11. The measure was due to end 2359 April 26, and is part of the nation's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The order stipulates that residents must remain inside their homes except to perform essential tasks, such as obtaining basic goods, attending to a medical issue, or caring for a person in need. Only one person per household may leave the residence to perform those tasks. People can also leave their home to go to work at an essential business or service, which include grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, as well as security, manufacturing, transport, and media companies.

The government will ease restrictions on certain businesses beginning April 27. Construction and manufacturing sectors will be allowed to reopen under strict protocols. Most other businesses remain closed except where employees can work from home. Schools remain closed. People 70 years and older will stay under total lockdown until May 31.

Some local governments continue to enforce tighter movement restriction measures in addition to the nationwide lockdown. In Bogota, restrictions are determined by an individual's gender, whereas in other cities, restrictions are based on the last digit of an individual's ID or passport. Notable cities include:

  • Bogota: Males allowed out on odd-numbered days and females allowed out on even-numbered days.
  • Bucaramanga: Monday (1 and 2); Tuesday (3 and 4); Wednesday (5 and 6); Thursday (7 and 8); and Friday (9 and 0).
  • Cali: Monday (1, 2, and 3); Tuesday (4, 5, and 6); Wednesday (7, 8, and 9); Thursday (0, 1, and 2); Friday (3, 4, and 5); Saturday (6, 7, and 8); Sunday (9 and 0).
  • Manizales: Monday (1, 2, and 3); Tuesday (4, 5, and 6); Wednesday (7, 8, and 9); Thursday (0, 1, and 2); Friday (3, 4, and 5); Saturday (6, 7, and 8); Sunday (9 and 0).
  • Medellin: Monday (2 and 3); Tuesday (4 and 5); Wednesday (6 and 7); Thursday (8 and 9); Friday (0 and 1); Saturday (2 and 3); Sunday (4, 5, and 6).


All international and domestic air travel will remain suspended until May 30. Cargo shipments and flights for humanitarian purposes are exempt. All inter-municipal transport is prohibited. Officials have also maintained the closure of all ground and maritime borders, except for trucks and vessels providing cargo shipments and humanitarian aid.

Local governments around the country may also impose stricter movement restriction measures over the coming days and weeks, especially if the spread of COVID-19 continues. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country. Authorities will likely keep an increased police presence deployed to enforce the restrictions. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Colombian government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is 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. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues 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.

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

Presidency of Colombia: https://id.presidencia.gov.co

Presidency of Colombia - Original Lockdown Order: https://dapre.presidencia.gov.co