August 20, 2020

Paso a Paso (Step-by-Step) Plan: frequently asked questions

Paso a Paso (Step-by-Step) Plan: frequently asked questions

General topics

1. What is the Step-by-Step Plan?

This is the name given to the process that eases the social confinement measures. It consists of 5 steps. 

Quarantine <-> Transition<-> Preparation<-> Initial Opening

Progress will happen gradually in accordance with risk variables. The first step is Quarantine, where all people are confined to their homes. This is followed by the Transition step, where some places, although still subject to curfew, will have quarantine lifted from Monday to Friday, but remain under lockdown on weekends.  The third step is the Preparation step, where quarantine is not in force at the weekend and people will have more freedom to engage in physical activity.  Finally, the Initial Opening and Advanced Opening steps will allow people to increasingly engage in activities that were previously restricted. All of this is based on health and epidemiological criteria in order to prevent an increase in the number of people with COVID-19.

2. What criteria will be considered to advance to the next step?

Several criteria will be used to determine whether a municipality will advance from one step to the next, or even go backwards. These include the percentage of critical bed occupancy in the health service — both public and private — because remember that we are working as one integrated system. Also the R0 rate needs to be lower than 1, which means that on average one person infects less than one other person. Another indicator is that the projected rate of regional active cases is continuing to decrease. We also consider the regional positive testing rate, and the improvement in the traceability and isolation percentages.  All of these indicators will be analyzed to decide whether to move forward or backward between steps.

3. Are there timeframes for moving forward between steps?

It is very important to let people know that this plan does not have a fixed date, or a date where we have to move from one step to the next. It will depend on the conditions in each area, each municipality and each region.

4. When does each step start and how long will it last?

The dates for moving from one step to another will depend on how the indicators evolve in each area. The website shows what step each municipality is on.

5. What step is my municipality on?

Updated information of the status of each municipality is available on or

6. If my municipality is in Quarantine, can I go out to work?

Only if you work at a company that has been recognized as essential. In that case, the company is responsible for requesting the collective permit so that their worker can commute to work. All other people living in a municipality in total quarantine cannot go to work.

7. If my municipality is in Transition, will I be able to go to work in a municipality that is still at Step 1?

If the work is essential, it will be possible to commute with the collective permit requested by your company.  In any other situation, even if the job is located in a place that is not in Quarantine, whether at the Transition or any other later step, if you live in a municipality that is in Quarantine, you will not be able to go to work.

8. Can a company oblige a worker to come to work in a municipality that has come out of Quarantine?

No. The only people that can commute from a municipality in Quarantine are those who work at a company recognized as essential.

9. Can senior citizens over 75 go out during Quarantine?

Yes. We are moving forward on the possibility of allowing senior citizens over the age of 75 to go out during allotted time slots, for 1 hour, around their neighborhood, with a companion if needed.

10. Which services and businesses may operate during Quarantine?

Places that provide essential goods – like pharmacies, supermarkets, places that sell food and other essential products – and all healthcare establishments may operate.

11. Can people go to their second homes during Quarantine?

No. The goal is to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks in other places.

12. Which businesses may not operate during Quarantine?

Clubs, restaurants, gyms, (ELEAM) long-term care residences and residential homes for seniors may not operate. Furthermore, people may not go out to do sports outside of their homes.

13. Are schools open?

In-person classes are completely canceled.

14. May we stop using masks during the Transition step?

No. In fact, let us say we have to live in Covid mode for a long time.

15. Do the indicators become stricter as we advance through the Plan?

Yes, they do. The indicators, specifically the positive testing rate is much stricter in this step than in previous steps because we know that the risk is higher given the increased exposure and person-to-person contact.

16. May I have a 10-person barbecue in the outdoor grill area of my building or at a park?

In a municipality in Transition, up to 10 people may get together in an outdoor public area. They must wear masks, practice social distancing and abide by self-care and hygiene protocols at all times.

17. Is it still appropriate to talk about emerging from confinement even if we have not been confined (i.e., have not been subject to Quarantine)?

This plan shows the different steps for municipalities in Quarantine and for the more than 220 municipalities throughout the country that are not in Quarantine. It shows us where we are so that we know which indicators we need to achieve in order to move to the next step and it also shows us where we are going.

18. When will the mandatory quarantine for those entering the country be lifted?

Few countries are Covid-free at the moment. So, we have to see how the global situation develops in terms of the spread of the virus around the world.

19. What about religious activities?

These fall under the social and recreational events and gatherings category. In other words, they may not be held during Quarantine. In Transition, they may only be held with a maximum of 5 people indoors and 10 people outdoors, but not on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays. During Preparation and Initial Opening, up to 50 people may attend. In Advanced Opening, they are allowed with a maximum of 150 people. Social distancing, constant cleaning and masks are always required.

20. What about the plebiscite?

The Government is working with the Electoral Service (SERVEL) to comply with the rules in our Constitution so that the referendum in October 2020 will meet the standards of elections traditionally held in Chile. This entails ensuring that the necessary safety conditions and health conditions that minimize contagion are in place so that the election is safe and transparent.

21. If a municipality is in Quarantine, will its residents still be able to vote in the referendum?

While protecting the health of the population, we are going to make every effort so that everyone who wants to participate may do so.

22. Is it possible to get to Opening without going through the other steps?

Under the plan, progress toward Gradual Opening (steps 4 and 5) is made regionally. In some exceptional cases, progress may occur in a large group of municipalities. It is important to consider the situation in the region as a whole (e.g., in terms of UCI beds) before advancing.