Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Officials in El Salvador launch a five-phase recovery economic plan, with the easing of some business restrictions starting June 16. 

  • Alert Begins: 16 Jun 2020 04:46 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 06 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions; increased security

Summary
Officials in El Salvador have launched a five-phase economic recovery plan due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), starting with the easing of some movement and business restrictions from June 16 as part of Phase 1. The mandatory nationwide quarantine has been lifted. New directives still urge all businesses to allow employees to work from home unless their physical presence is fundamental for the business to operate. Starting June 16, the following businesses may open:

 

  • Construction and textile and electronic manufacturing companies

 

  • Cargo transport

 

  • Medical and veterinary services for emergencies and appointments

 

  • Personal care services, by appointment only

 

  • Restaurants and retail stores may operate for delivery and pickup services only, including those within malls

 

  • Government offices

 

  • Repair and maintenance services

 


Essential businesses can continue operating, including those in the food, energy, security, public utility industries, as well as grocery stores, pharmacies, and fuel stations. Public transport will continue operating only for health workers; private transport is now allowed for all workers in businesses allowed to reopen. All businesses must enhance sanitation procedures, ensure social distancing measures, and promote the use of face masks by employees. All residents must limit face-to-face interactions.

All ports of entry remain closed to nonresident foreign nationals. Only Salvadorans, legal foreign residents, and accredited diplomats may enter the country. Any person entering the country will be screened by health officials to determine if they must remain in self-quarantine. El Salvador International Airport (SAL) has suspended passenger flights. Air and land cargo transportation, as well as humanitarian flights and vessels, are not affected by the restrictions.

Phase 2 is scheduled to begin July 7 with the easing of additional restrictions, including all manufacturing companies, dine-in services at restaurants, and public transport. Starting on Phase 2, all phases are scheduled to last 14 days.

The restrictions will continue to have a significant impact on 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 adopted by the government of El Salvador are similar to actions taken by other governments in response to the spread of COVID-19. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

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.


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