Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Paraguay extends current relaxation phases of COVID-19 restrictions through July 19; other restrictions to remain.

  • Alert Begins: 05 Jul 2020 11:45 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 20 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions, increased police presence

Authorities in Paraguay have extended Phase 3 of relaxing restrictions on movement and businesses, implemented to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), through at least July 19. Phase 3, which was due to expire July 6, will apply to most departments except Paraguari and Concepcion, which will remain under Phase 2 until July 19. Some measures remain in place nationwide. The minimum age for physical isolation is 65. Persons over the age of 65 may exercise 0500-1000, while those aged 10-64 can exercise 1030-2000 for up to two hours a day within 500 meters of their home.

All operating requirements will 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 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 3:


  • 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.


In Paraguari and Concepcion, Phase 2 measures remain unchanged:


  • All commercial premises may reopen, including shopping malls (except food courts and common areas).


  • Corporate offices may operate at 50 percent capacity and with staggered shifts.


  • Cultural and artistic sectors can resume training, rehearsals, and performances without an audience.


  • Professional athletes may perform training individually.


  • Private clubs and parks may open for individual physical activity.


  • Religious ceremonies may be performed with up to a maximum of 10 people.


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.

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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