Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Paraguay modifies quarantine measures and movement restrictions through May 25 to combat the spread of COVID-19. Other restrictions remain.

This alert affects Paraguay

This alert began 04 May 2020 20:57 GMT and is scheduled to expire 26 May 2020 08:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 25
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions, increased police presence

President Mario Abdo Benitez announced on May 4 the implementation of a new system of nationwide measures to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The policy includes a phased reopening of the economy. During the first phase, which will last from May 4 through at least May 25, all persons are required to remain indoors between 2100 and 0500. During all other hours, people may only leave their homes to obtain or provide essential goods and services or to work at an approved business. Outside exercise is also permitted as long as all persons engaged in it remain within 500 meters of their home. The government also maintains restrictions on public vehicles according to the last digit on the license plate:

  • Vehicles with license plates ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 are allowed to operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
  • Vehicles with license plates ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 are allowed to operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

During the first phase, the following businesses are approved to operate:

  • Businesses and individuals that care for children, the elderly, and the disabled
  • Stores that sell food and medicine and the food and medicine supply chain
  • Agricultural, fishing, and forestry interests
  • Ports, airports, and land transport companies
  • Factories that produce household goods, textiles, lumber, furniture, paper goods, metals, plastics, ceramics, cement, glass, machines, automobiles, brick, or stone
  • Providers of basic services such as electricity and water
  • Funeral services
  • Companies operating within the supply chain for public works
  • Construction companies and companies that work within the supply chain for construction materials
  • Delivery services
  • Call centers
  • Waste disposal companies
  • Fuel stations, including companies that sell liquefied petroleum gas
  • Domestic services
  • Press

The international borders will remain closed, and 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.

By May 25, officials will determine whether the country can further open under a second phase of the measures. Officials have not detailed what additional restrictions might be lifted in such a phase.

The measures in place will significantly disrupt business and transport in the country. An increased police presence is highly likely in the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Paraguayan government are similar to those taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of 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.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. 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.

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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