Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Paraguay continues relaxation phases of COVID-19 restrictions as of July 20, except in Asuncion, Alto Parana, and Central departments.

  • Alert Begins: 20 Jul 2020 11:24 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 03 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions, increased police presence

Summary
Authorities in Paraguay announced that most departments will advance to Phase 4 of relaxing restrictions on movement and businesses, implemented to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Phase 4 applies to all departments except Asuncion, Alto Parana, and Central, which will be placed under Phase 3 through at least Aug. 3 due to higher local disease activity. All previous announced operating requirements remain the same. Businesses and individuals are required to enforce strict social and physical distancing protocols and enhanced sanitation measures, and all persons are required to wear a face mask over their mouths and noses in all public spaces.

In addition to previously authorized businesses and services, the following businesses, facilities, and activities are approved under Phase 4:

 

  • The hotel sector may reopen subject to subject to strict operating protocols.

 

  • Religious ceremonies may be performed up to a maximum of 50 people.

 

  • Cultural events may have up to 20 people and are subject to strict operating protocols.

 

  • Family and home gatherings may have up to a maximum of 10 people.

 

  • Physical exercise and sport activities can have up to four people together, provided the same four people train together every time.

 


In addition to previously authorized businesses and services, the following businesses, facilities, and activities are approved under Phase 3 in Asuncion, Alto Parana, and Central:

 

  • Food establishments may reopen with prior scheduling and measures to track diners. Food courts in shopping malls will remain closed.

 

  • Laboratories may reopen, and practical classes may resume at higher education institutions, with a maximum of 10 people per laboratory/class. Thesis exams and defenses may also resume.

 

  • Gyms, sports centers, and sports academies may reopen with prior scheduling and strict sanitization protocols. Physical exercise with up to two people will be permitted.

 

  • Drive-in theaters and drive-in cinemas may open.

 

  • Religious ceremonies may be performed up to a maximum of 20 people.

 


Under phases 1 and 2, most sectors and commercial premises were permitted to resume operations subject to strict operating requirements. Corporate offices have been allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity and with staggered shifts. Sports, cultural, religious, and social activities have mostly been highly regulated.

International borders will remain closed, and the suspension of all commercial passenger flights at all airports will continue until further notice. Officials will make limited exceptions for repatriation flights. Cargo is still permitted to cross borders. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
President Mario Abdo Benitez implemented the "Smart Quarantine" May 4 to allow for the reopening of the economy while maintaining adequate standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The exact nature and timeframe of the different phases of the Smart Quarantine have not been announced. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in further relaxation of restrictions.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance.

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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