May 4, 2020

The Chilean Government announces COVID-19 quarantine measures for new municipalities

The Chilean Government announces COVID-19 quarantine measures for new municipalities
Health Minister Jaime Mañalich stated that these measures will be applied with greater frequency throughout Chile.

Quarantine will be applied to the Metropolitan Region municipalities of Cerrillos, Quilicura and Recoleta and the quarantine already in place in the municipality of Santiago will be extended as of 10 pm this Tuesday.  This is also the case for the urban section of Antofagasta and the municipality of Mejillones.

Health Minister Jaime Mañalich made the announcement after attending a meeting this afternoon led by the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, together with other ministers and the Healthcare Networks Public Health Undersecretaries. During this meeting, the decision was made to introduce new measures in addition to those that have already been implemented.

The Health Minister explained that, over the last few days, the number of people infected with the virus has increased in certain locations. While 90% of the increase is linked to changes in the testing strategy, 10% represent a real increase in contagion among people who have not been respecting the self-isolation measures.

“This is a war that affects us all and we need every person to act in a responsible manner in order to prevent the disease from spreading to others (…) The evidence shows that this has not been sufficient, so we have strengthened all the control mechanisms for these very difficult measures, which we know are tough, but they are necessary to gain control in this fight against the coronavirus,” explained the Minister.

The Health Minister stated that such measures will be implemented “with greater frequency and flexibility than has been the case until now,” following the recommendation of the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 Advisory Committee.

The new quarantine measures will go into effect at 10 pm next Tuesday, May 5th. 

Safe return

The Minister clarified that there is no inconsistency between the restrictions put into effect today and the safe return to certain activities that was announced a few days ago.  This is because in those parts of the country with low numbers of COVID-19 cases, communities can take up some activities again, while other areas, with high numbers of cases, will need to remain under quarantine.

“Returning to normal is a priority, but with an emphasis on safety. As a government, we have to guarantee, to the extent that we can, that a person who resumes an activity, who returns to work, does so in keeping with the appropriate measures and in a safe manner.  Therefore, like all the other countries around the world, Chile is moving toward a normality that will be different to what we had before the pandemic. This will be a safe, measured and gradual return.”