SANTIAGO – On Wednesday, Mar. 25, the government said that seven municipalities of the Metropolitan Region will be quarantined. Quarantine begins on Thursday, Mar. 26, at 10:00 p.m. Thereafter, people need permission to leave their homes.
With over 57.1% of Chile’s confirmed coronavirus cases coming from the Metropolitan Region, authorities have decided to place the seven most affected municipalities in “total quarantine” for seven days:
- Las Condes
- Lo Barnechea
The quarantine begins Thursday, Mar. 26, at 10:00 p.m. Residents of these municipalities are not allowed to leave their homes unless they have permission, and permissions will be limited to the following:
- 4 hours to shop for necessities.
- 5 hours to assist funerals and 24 hours if the funeral is in another region.
- 30 minutes to walk pets, within a radius of two blocks from home.
- 24 hours to attend a hospital or clinic in the event of a medical emergency.
Permissions are available through the website comisariavirtual.cl. There is no need to print the permission; it can be carried and presented via phone or tablet. Permissions, however, will not work during curfew.
Mayors of each municipality have said that they will ensure that supermarkets and pharmacies are well stocked and will find ways to assist older residents.
Exemptions from the Quarantine
Some residents whose work is considered “indispensable” will be exempt from quarantine and allowed out as long as they are performing those services or traveling to and from their workplaces. These include the following.
- Health workers: including people who work in both public and private hospitals, other healthcare professionals, and sanitation workers. Pharmacists and veterinarians are also exempt.
- Emergency workers: including firefighters and emergency workers for gas, water, and electricity systems.
- Public Utility Workers: including those who provide electricity, water, gas, and telecommunications. Gas station workers also fall into this category, as do those who work in banks, health insurance, trash collection, mortuaries, and the airport. Mail carriers are also exempt.
- Public Workers: including those who work in the municipalities and who can’t do their jobs from home, as well as foreign diplomats.
- Essential Commerce: including supermarket workers and local commerce owners. Agricultural workers are also exempt.
- Transport: those who work in public transportation can continue working as can those who help stock essential products.
- Security: those who work with the Carabineros (Chile’s national police), e.g., support staff, and concierges who work in condominiums and buildings.
- Press: journalists from any medium (Radio, TV, and written).
- Education: educational workers.
- Others: including hotel workers, but only if there are guests to attend, and any workers whose jobs are considered indispensable to the community by the proper authorities.
Exempt workers who live outside the quarantine zone but have an “indispensable” job inside the quarantine zone will have to present credentials to enter the quarantine zone in the Metropolitan Region.
Diego Rivera is currently a senior in University, finishing up his audiovisual degree. You can find him on Twitter as @Piover45.