In the latest update issued by La Moneda Palace on the situation with regard to the coronavirus pandemic in Chile, government authorities detailed the special health measures, which will apply during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
Government spokesperson Jaime Bellolio announced that the special plans form part of the general ‘Paso a Paso Plan’ (Step-by-Step) and reflect the need to “keep ahead of events and foresee situations. We know that throughout this year there have been millions of families who have suffered, people have died (…). The essence of these plans is that we must look after ourselves, because if people do not follow health safeguards like washing their hands, social distancing and the use of a mask, we will never win the battle against this virus which has caused us such enormous problems,” he said.
The Public Health Undersecretary, Paula Daza, detailed each of the special plans that will apply during the various celebrations in December and the upcoming summer season.
Lo Vásquez pilgrimage:
– As previously announced, the pilgrimage is suspended for health reasons; Highway 68 will be closed from 5:00 p.m. on December 7 to 8:00 a.m. on December 8.
– Movement by pedestrians and all means of transport, including bicycles, is also prohibited.
The most complete view of the solar eclipse forecast for December 14 will be obtained in the La Araucanía Region. A series of restrictions will apply to viewing the eclipse, as explained by the Tourism Undersecretary, José Luis Uriarte. “We want to go on opening and reactivating tourism, but without losing our way and without taking our attention off protecting the health of all Chileans, which is the most important thing,” he said. He went on to give details of the measures imposed for the date of the eclipse:
– The Step-by-Step Plan will remain in force, which means that anybody who wants to travel to see the eclipse must come from and go to a district that is on Step 3 or higher.
– To stop people traveling for the day and causing traffic jams, it has been decided to close the following access roads to the lakes area from 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 13 to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, December 14 on the routes: Freire-Villarrica, Pitrufquén-Ñancul and Loncoche-Villarrica.
– In the coastal area, road S40 between Imperial and Saavedra will be closed during the same period.
– The internal traffic on roads within the lakes area will be restricted from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Monday, December 14, on the routes: Villarrica-Pucón; Pucón-Curarrehue; Villarrica-Licanray; Licanray-Coñaripe and LicanrayPanguipulli.
– Health controls will be reinforced in the airport and bus terminals.
– Police checkpoints will be increased.
– There will be random mobile controls on access routes as from Thursday, December 10.
– This plan includes the extension of the curfew on Christmas Eve, which will run from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. on December 25 for all districts on Step 2, 3 or 4, with the exception of districts in Quarantine.
– Mass events are prohibited in all districts from 8:00 p.m. on December 24 to 5:00 a.m. on December 25.
– Only private meetings will be allowed; the maximum number of people permitted in one venue will depend on the prevailing Step in the district, i.e. for Transition the maximum is 15 people, Preparation 20 and Initial Opening 30, including residents. In districts in Quarantine, only residents can take part in celebrations in their own homes.
– A special permit to visit senior citizens will be available from the “Virtual Police Station” for December 24 and 25. Two people can visit together.
– The curfew will run from 2:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. on January 1, 2021.
– Mass events are prohibited in all districts from 8:00 p.m. on December 31 to 5:00 a.m. on January 2.
– Maximum numbers at events are as for Christmas: Quarantine – only home residents; Transition – 15 people; Preparation – 20 people and Initial Opening – 30 people.
– Health cordons will be established in macro-zones, starting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 30 and running until 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 2.
Undersecretary Daza commented that the same protocols would apply as in the Step-by-Step Plan. Interregional travel would be allowed between districts on Steps 3 and 4, while inspections and the work of health teams would be intensified to ensure compliance with all the health protocols announced for the use of swimming pools, campsites, zoos, parks and squares, beaches, etc.
As from 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 5, the following districts in the Metropolitan Region will move back from Initial Opening to Preparation: Vitacura; Las Condes, Santiago and Curacaví.
At the same time, the following districts in the Metropolitan Region will move back from Preparation to Transition: La Pintana, Cerro Navia, Pudahuel and Pedro Aguirre Cerda.
At 5:00 a.m. on Monday, December 7, the following will advance from Transition to Preparation: Los Alamos in the Biobío Region; Traiguen in the La Araucanía Region, and Curaco de Vélez in the Los Lagos Region.
At 5:00 a.m. on Monday, December 7, the following districts in the Los Lagos Region will advance from Quarantine to Transition: Puerto Montt and Los Muermos.