President Sebastián Piñera and Health Minister Jaime Mañalich have announced a series of measures that are being adopted to contain the advance of the Covid-19 disease, which has now entered the fourth transmission stage in Chile.
The President emphasized that “collaboration by everyone is absolutely vital: the different State powers, civil society and most especially the collaboration and responsibility of all the citizens of our country.”
Currently 201 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed by the Health Ministry.
1. Border closures
As of March 18, all of Chile’s land, maritime and air borders will be closed for the transit of foreign nationals. This will not impact the entry and exit of cargo or personnel associated with this activity. This measure will be renewed if necessary.
2. A health passport will be provided to those who must leave the country and to those Chileans who enter it or who transport cargo.
3. Fines and prison sentences for non-compliance with quarantine.
Established in the Sanitary Code and the Penal Code, which include sanctions of between 0.1 and 50 UTM (a UTM or monthly tax unit is currently worth about US$59).
4. Substitution of prison sentences
A bill will be sent to congress to substitute time in prison with house arrest for inmates over 75 years in age and those aged 65 to 74 who have less than one year of their sentence to run. Convictions for serious crimes and crimes against humanity are excluded.
5. Quarantine in Caleta Tortel
Valid since Sunday, March 15. Furthermore, a sanitary center is to be installed in the area to provide healthcare.
6. Prohibition of cruise ships
From Sunday March 15 through to September 2020, cruise ships may not make landfall in Chilean ports. This measure is being implemented by the General Directorate of the Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine, Directemar
7. The suspension of classes for 14 days at all public, subsidized private and private schools and preschools.
8. The prohibition of public events with more than 200 people.
9. Quarantine in the premises of the National Minors' Service (SENAME). Only those people who are strictly necessary and essential will be admitted.
10. Suspension of visits to long-term residential care homes for senior citizens and day centers for a month from today.
11. Suspension of all senior citizens’ neighborhood clubs and committees.
12. Visits to people in prison facilities will be restricted in number and frequency.
13. The creation of a special 220 billion peso (around US$258 million) fund to pay for healthcare measures.
14. Flu vaccine. The campaign began on March 16 and will continue for 2 months. Additional vaccination centers are being set up to add more vaccination points to those already operating in public and authorized private medical centers.
15. Medical Leave. Employees who have had proven close contact with persons with confirmed cases of COVID-19 along with other workers who are required to undertake mandatory quarantine, will be entitled to medical leave.
16. The COVID-19 diagnostic test will be free for all public health insurance (FONASA) beneficiaries taking the test in the Public Healthcare Network.
17. 1,732 additional beds will be made available to increase hospital capacity and work on the following 5 hospitals will be accelerated: Gustavo Fricke, Felix Bulnes, Ovalle, Padre Las Casas and Angol.
18. A field hospital, 6 medical care posts and the services of the Sergeant Aldea Hospital Ship.
19. 12 diagnostic labs will be set up in hospitals in Chile.
20. The hours of attention at hospital centers and primary care centers will be extended.
21. The provision of additional beds through fast-track hospital construction.
22. Everyone arriving from countries classified as High Risk by the World Health Organization (WHO) will have to be quarantined for 14 days when entering Chile. These measures do not affect passengers who have only been in transit at the airports of said countries or the flight crews.
23. Sanitary control has now been established at all land borders, where in addition to the Sworn Statement and the setting up of a Sanitary Customs Office, a medical examination is being used to assess the health of persons arriving at the border.
24. Transport will continue to function normally but stricter health measures will be introduced, such as the metro, urban buses and passenger trains being regularly disinfected.
25. All public employees over 75 years old, or who have a condition that puts them at risk, will be able to work from home.
26. The Heads of Public Services may establish special measures to adopt flexible working hours and encourage teleworking.
27. Only those public ceremonies or events that are strictly necessary will go ahead, and participation will be restricted to a maximum of 50 people.
28. Travel abroad by public employees will be restricted to trips that are indispensable.
29. The validity of identity cards is being extended for one year to avoid people attending Civil Registry offices, and online procedures will be made available.
30. The Telework Bill for the private sector will be given maximum urgency, which will help to protect the health of employees.
31. Coordination with the countries of the Forum for the Progress and Development of South America (PROSUR), to strengthen collaboration in our region.
32. The Health Minister has been appointed Interministerial coordinator of the plan to protect the Chilean people from Covid-19.
33. The supply chain is functioning normally and the people of Chile are being called on to remain calm, as there is no need to stock up in excess.