Officials in Venezuela to enforce flexible COVID-19 restrictions and new fuel purchase schedule Nov. 2-8. Flight restrictions in place.
Authorities in Venezuela will enforce flexible quarantine measures nationwide Nov. 2-8 as part of the country's weekly rotational response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic; officials are likely to resume the strict quarantine measures Nov. 9-15. The measures form part of the "7+7 Plus" plan, which includes the rotational seven days of flexibility for businesses and individuals (general flexibility), followed by seven days of increased restrictions (radical quarantine). Under the strict quarantine, only essential businesses and services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, law enforcement, public utilities, and agriculture, can continue operating.
Effective Nov. 1, places of worship are permitted to resume services with up to 40 percent capacity. Other businesses and sectors permitted to operate during the flexible quarantine phase are:
- General Flexibility: Authorities allow multiple areas of the economy to operate, including lodging businesses, beaches, private clubs, theme parks, restaurants, cafes, furniture stores, construction, hardware stores, transport, banks, and financial services, barbershops and hair salons, car repair businesses, healthcare centers (including dental offices and veterinarians), clothing services, chemical industries, car washes, bookstores, sporting events without spectators and personalized services, as well as access to beaches. Government offices, including the National Institute of Ground Transport (Instituto Nacional de Transporte Terrestre, INTT) and the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Foreign Affairs (Servicio Administrativo de Identificacion, Migracion y Extranjeria, SAIME) have also resumed under this phase.
- Radical Quarantine: Under these measures, officials continue to enforce strict quarantine measures in the border municipalities of the states of Zulia, Apure, Tachira, and Bolivar on an ongoing basis, regardless of the country's 7+7 status. In these areas, only essential businesses can operate. Residents may only leave their homes to conduct essential or critical tasks, such as obtaining basic goods, attending to a medical issue, caring for a person in need, or traveling to or from employment at an essential business or government agency.
Some nationwide measures remain in place regardless of which phase of the 7+7 Plus plan is in effect. All residents must wear protective facemasks while riding public transport, inside grocery stores and pharmacies, and at healthcare facilities, airports, and ports. Local and regional governments could impose additional restrictions, including limiting intercity or interstate vehicular travel; enhanced measures are especially likely in border areas.
Fuel Distribution Restrictions
Officials will continue to enforce a fuel distribution system amid the country's continued fuel shortage crisis through at least Nov. 5, with a possible extension. Approximately 1,568 service stations will be available nationwide from 0600 daily. Individuals may only purchase fuel according to the last number of one's license plate number, according to the following schedule:
- Nov. 2: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 and 8 are permitted.
- Nov. 3: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 and 0 are permitted.
- Nov. 4: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 are permitted.
- Nov. 5: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 and 4 are permitted.
International and Domestic Travel
The ban on all domestic and international passenger flights is in effect until at least Nov. 12. Cargo and humanitarian flights have been exempt from the ban. Officials have also permitted repatriation flights for Venezuelan citizens from abroad. Additionally, all land border crossings remain closed, though there are no restrictions on cargo transportation.
All measures are subject to amendment at short notice. Authorities may reapply or further ease restrictions within the flexible periods depending on local COVID-19 activity. In addition to the border municipalities, other states or localized communities could have highly targeted measures reimposed if confirmed case numbers increase significantly.
Follow all official instructions. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. 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.