Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Paraguay extends existing regionally varied COVID-19 measures nationwide until at least Oct. 4. Stricter measures in place in some areas.

Alert Begins 21 Sep 2020 10:52 AM UTC
Alert Expires 05 Oct 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 most of the existing, regionally varied measures forming the nation's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and recovery plan until Oct. 4. Under the COVID-19 plan, most of the country will remain under Phase 4 of recovery, except Boqueron Department and Carmelo Peralta district of Alto Paraguay Department, which remain at Phase 3. Special measures in Asuncion, Central, and Alta Parana, departments have also been extended through Oct. 4; however, special measures that went into effect in Concepcion and Caaguazu Sept. 13, will remain in place until Sept. 27. These highly-targeted measures are in place due to higher local COVID-19 disease activity. As of Sept. 21, the varied measures will be enforced as outlined below.

Asuncion, Central, Concepcion, and Caaguazu Departments
The so-called "social quarantine" in the affected departments prohibits all individual movements 2000-0500, except for critical and essential workers. Under the decree, the following additional measures will be in place:


  • Medium and long-distance transport will be prohibited on Saturdays and Sundays in Asuncion and Central.


  • Restaurants may only serve 0500-2300 Sundays-Thursdays and 0500-2359 Fridays and Saturdays.


  • Essential businesses such as supermarkets, food stores, and pharmacies may continue operating normally; however, approved nonessential businesses may only operate 1000-1900.


  • Alcohol may only be sold until 2000, except in restaurants.


Alto Parana Department
Under the new measures in Alto Parana, officials will permit restaurants to operate through Oct. 4. Other measures remain mostly unchanged. All persons must remain in their homes and may only leave to perform essential tasks, such as buying groceries or medications 0500-2000. Residents may not leave their homes after 2000 except for emergencies. Additional measures are:


  • Commercial activity is permitted 0500-2000.


  • Restaurants may only serve 0500-2200 daily subject to operating protocols.


  • The use of a facemask is mandatory on all public transport.


  • Delivery services, call centers, and pharmacies may operate 24 hours.


  • Alcohol may only be sold until 2000. Physical activities outdoors and at gyms and sports centers are allowed individually.


  • Public officials will operate 0800-1500 Mondays to Fridays.


  • Fuel and gas distribution stations may operate 0500-2300.


  • Nonessential travel into Alto Parana is not permitted.


Phase 3
The following measures apply to Boqueron Department and Carmelo Peralta District:


  • Food establishments may remain open; however, food courts in shopping malls will remain closed.


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


  • Physical exercise with up to two people will be permitted.


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


Phase 4
All remaining departments are in Phase 4 until Oct. 4. Under this phase, the following measures are in place:


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


  • Religious ceremonies may be performed with a maximum of 50 people in attendance.


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


  • Family and home gatherings may have a maximum of 10 people in attendance.


  • Physical exercise and sports activities can take place with up to four people participating, provided the same four people train together every time.


Throughout the country, all businesses and individuals are required to adhere to strict social distancing protocols and enhanced sanitization measures. Additionally, all persons are required to wear protective facemasks over their mouths and noses in all public spaces.

International borders remain closed, and all commercial passenger flights are suspended until further notice. Officials make limited exceptions for repatriation flights. Cargo is still permitted to cross borders. 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
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. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, restrictions may be reapplied nationwide or in targeted, localized areas. 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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