SANTIAGO – The Health Ministry announced on Monday, Dec. 7, that the entire Metropolitan region will return to Phase 2 of government’s step-by-step reopening plan. This means that on Thursday, stricter measures will be implemented, such as a weekend lockdown. In some ways, however, the upcoming Phase 2 is amended.
With a second wave looming, the Chilean government decided to take a step back and put the entire Metropolitan Region in partial lockdown. According to Health Minister Enrique Paris, the number of coronavirus cases rose 18 percent in one week in the region, thus warranting the stricter measures. The minister said that the measures will be evaluated after two weeks.
With Christmas and New Year’s Eve ahead, authorities fear that not tightening the rules might lead to a huge outbreak, as more people try to shop for the holidays, meet in groups for family gatherings, and hit the road for days off. This could advance the second wave, which is expected to hit Chile in January.
Going back to Phase 2, however does not mean an entire lockdown, the Ministry emphasized. Here is what you can do if you live in the Metropolitan Region during the upcoming Phase 2:
- You can still go to work, as there is no lockdown during weekdays and you are not obliged to work from home.
- You can do sports during weekdays. On the weekends, you must stay inside and are only allowed out for certain essential activities and with a downloaded permission (e.g., for grocery shopping or to go to the doctor, etc.). All gyms will be closed: only outdoor sports are allowed.
- You can still go to the airport, if you have a plane ticket which will serve as evidence you are traveling.
Here is what you cannot do if you live in the Metropolitan region during the upcoming Phase 2:
- You cannot travel to other regions, unless it is for exceptional situations such as funerals or medical appointments
- You cannot meet with more than 20 people outdoors and 10 people indoors.
Schools remain open during weekdays, and restaurants with outdoor seating are allowed to remain open for onsite dining during weekdays with proper social distancing. The international borders will also remain open, with the Santiago airport as the only point of entry.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.