Beginning on Tuesday, September 2, senior citizens over the age of 75 will be subject to the same restrictions and enjoy the same freedoms as other adults depending on where their municipality is currently located in the Plan Paso a Paso (step-by-step plan).
The news was explained on Sunday by First Lady Cecilia Morel, who also leads the «Adulto Mejor» (aging better) program. “It’s time to move forward and give our older adults more freedoms. The step-by-step plan allows us to enjoy more freedoms gradually, but this also means that we will have more responsibilities as we begin to go outside and get together with family, friends and loved ones. This is why I am asking for this process to be a joint effort. We know that when older adults contract the virus, they are affected more seriously and we must therefore learn to live in COVID mode,” she said.
The Chilean Geriatrics and Gerontology Society also participated in the dialogue leading up to the announcement of this measure. Its President, Gerardo Fasce, recognized that this group has demonstrated exemplary civic behavior, responsibility and commitment. He also called for those who live with older people to engage in the same sort of conduct. “It is not enough for them to continue to be the only responsible parties. This must go hand in hand with appropriate behavior on the part of the people who live with them,” he stated.
The National Director of the National Service for Older People (SENAMA), Octavio Vergara, explained that the government is listening to older adults as the step-by-step plan is implemented and that the body charged with maintaining this dialogue will continue to do its work. He also insisted on the importance of keeping health measures in place. “Finally, I am calling for everyone to engage in self-care, especially older adults at high risk and those who live with diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems. These individuals must work harder at self-care so that they can continue to serve as an example of responsibility for everyone in our country,” he noted.
While living in an area subject to Quarantine, this group may leave their homes on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays for two hours and must have their identity cards with them. During the Transition step, they may do so Monday through Friday without restrictions, while the confinement measure will remain in place on the weekends. Those living in municipalities in the Preparation step enjoy this benefit every day of the week.
In regard to the implementation of the step-by-step plan, the health officials announced that the municipalities of Santa Cruz, Chillán Viejo, Chillán and Hualqui will become subject to Quarantine while Rengo will move to Transition. Meanwhile, the municipalities of Los Andes, San Felipe, San José de Maipo, Providencia, Las Condes, Ñuñoa and Vitacura will move into Step 3, Preparation.
The decision has been made to allow restaurants to serve guests on terraces and sidewalks in municipalities that are in the Preparation Step.
All of these measures will go into effect at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, September 2.