SANTIAGO – After more than two months of strict quarantine measures in the Metropolitan region, coronavirus numbers have been declining in the capital for several weeks. Later today, health officials will announce a partial lifting of the measures in several districts. This will be step two of the “Step by Step” plan released earlier this week by the Health Ministry.
The daily published coronavirus updates from the Health Ministry indicate an improving situation in Chile, and in response authorities are expected to announce a series of milder measures today that will replace the stricter quarantine measures that have been in place for over two months in the Metropolitan region. This morning, La Tercera published details about the expected announcements.
Not all districts are expected to see an easing of quarantine measures. Only those with the most improved numbers, in the eastern parts of Santiago – Providencia, Ñuñoa, Macul, Peñalolén, La Reina, Las Condes, Vitacura, and Lo Barnechea – will be subject to the new measures.
Easing quarantine measures is in line with the “Step by Step” plan presented earlier this week – a five-step gradual reopening of Chilean society after weeks of confinement. The announced measures will be part of step two of the plan, meaning that people will be allowed to go out from Monday to Friday, taking in account physical distancing and the obligatory use of face masks. Adults 75 and older must remain in quarantine, although they are allowed to go out one hour every day.
Monday through Friday, social gatherings with up to 10 people will be allowed. Saturday and Sunday, quarantine measures will still apply. Curfews will also continue. Health Minister Enrique Paris previously said that moving to the next steps depends entirely on how the public behaves, and warned that if residents are irresponsible, authorities will not hesitate to reinstate total quarantine.
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.