Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Uruguay continues to impose movement restrictions, as of April 3, to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This alert affects Uruguay

This alert began 03 Apr 2020 14:06 GMT and is scheduled to expire 12 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least mid-April
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, increased security presence

Summary
Officials in Uruguay will implement heightened security, including checkpoints, on national highways, major routes, and department borders, to reduce vehicular movements throughout the country until April 12. The additional measures are part of the government's efforts to stem the curb of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), particularly during the Easter holy week (Semana Santa), when domestic movements tend to increase. Increased control operations will also be conducted in cities. The public has been advised against traveling with trailers and motor-homes. Residents are urged to stay at home during this period.

These measures are in addition to the closure of large commercial premises, such as shopping centers, public buildings, and education facilities, as well as the suspension of all public shows. Only pharmacies and supermarkets are to remain open. The government has urged the public to maintain social distancing, such as working remotely, avoiding public transport and large gatherings, and self-isolating as much as possible. People 65 years of age or older are urged to remain at home.

Officials have also banned nonresident foreign nationals from entering the country through at least mid-April as part of the nation's effort to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Foreign nationals who are legal residents of Uruguay will be allowed to enter, as will citizens of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay in transit to their home countries, and Brazilian residents of cities that straddle the border. All international commercial passenger flights have been suspended until further notice. Cargo transport will not be affected. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with larger than usual police presence in the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Uruguayan government correspond with similar actions 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.

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.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Uruguay Presidency: www.presidencia.gub.uy

Uruguay Coronavirus Updates: https://www.gub.uy/ministerio-salud-publica/coronavirus