SANTIAGO – After more than two months of quarantine, the infamous “peak” in Chile seems to have been reached. Authorities are starting to look at the period after the restriction measures. President Piñera presented on Sunday, July 19, a plan that would gradually lift the quarantine measures in the Metropolitan region.
During a press conference in presidential palace La Moneda, President Sebastián Piñera presented his five-stage “Step by Step” Plan, drafted with input from health experts. According to Piñera, the plan will strengthen “the recovery process of our country.”
“It will allow us to recover our ability to create jobs and opportunities, improve wages and income for families, promote the development of small enterprises, recover our ability to innovate, undertake and invest. In a nutshell, get our economy and our country back on track,” Piñera declared, emphasizing the need to reopen the economy after the weeks-long closure of the Metropolitan region heavily affected the country’s economy.
According to Health Minister Paris, authorities will decide, region by region, whether conditions have been met to shift to a new step in the plan. The five steps are:
- Quarantine (the current stage of the Metropolitan region). Mobility is limited to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
- The degree of confinement is eased. Only on weekends and during festivities do quarantine measures apply, but curfews remain and those above 75 years must continue to self-quarantine.
- Quarantine measures are lifted for the general population, except for risk groups. Distance measures and curfews continue, but recreational and social activities with up to 50 people are allowed.
- Initial Opening. Risk groups may venture out again, all low-risk-of-infection activities are allowed, but big gatherings should still be avoided.
- Advanced Opening. More people are allowed at gatherings, but preventive measures continue.
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.