On May 5th, 2020, the Legislative Assembly approved Decree 639 containing the “TEMPORARY ACT REGULATING ISOLATION, QUARANTINE, OBSERVATION AND SURVEILLANCE FOR COVID-19”, which aims to develop the conditions, time and manner of compliance with quarantine, surveillance or observation of persons who are subject to such control measures, as determined by the Ministry of Health for COVID-19.
Article 8 of the above-mentioned Act regulates the home quarantine throughout the territory of the Republic, indicating the cases in which persons, with justified reasons, may circulate; and, in its subparagraph d), delimiting the activities that persons may carry out when they leave their homes, these being the following:
- Those people whose need is the acquisition of food and drinks, pharmaceutical products, medical treatments, urgent care of pets; and others who, for emergency reasons must go to a care center, market or supermarket for food supplies and essential goods.
- People whose purpose is the nursing and care of children, the elderly, disabled people or those who are especially vulnerable due to chronic diseases that need to go to a place for emergency or regular medical care or to a hospital or clinic.
- Staff working in the media and press;
- Agricultural sector and independent workers in the same sector;
- Financial sector, AFP (Pension Fund Administrators), INPEP (Public Employees National Pension Institution) and insurance Companies.
- Private security services and maintenance technicians who provide basic utilities such as electricity, water, telephone and internet.
The Executive Body, by agreement in the Health Branch, as required, may establish additional grounds of justification to be able to circulate and will establish the procedures for its implementation.
On May 9, 2020, Executive Decree number 24 in the Health Branch came into force, which develops the qualifications provided for in Article 8 of the Act Regulating Isolation, Quarantine, Observation and Surveillance for COVID-19.
This Decree repeals decrees Nos. 22 and 23, ratifying some of the restrictions established in the repealed decrees and amending other restrictions that were established; specifically, to the free movement of persons. The restrictions that remain are:
- a) The mobilization of a people from the municipality of their residence to another municipality, except for:
- Moving to workplaces; for which wearing a mask, company’s ID and a letter from the employer, authorizing the employee to move to the work site are required, or
- If no markets or supermarkets are available in the municipality, people are allowed to go to the nearest municipality specifically to buy food.
- b) The mobilization in specific days, according to the last number or the termination of the Personal Identification Document, Passport, Resident Card for foreigners, being enabled as follows:
|Last number of the document||Enabled days|
|0 – 1 – 2||Thursday 7, Monday 11, Friday 15, and Sunday 17 of May 2020|
|3 – 4||Friday 8, Tuesday 12, Saturday 16, and Tuesday 19 of May 2020|
|5 – 6||Saturday 9, Wednesday 13, Sunday 17, and Thursday 21 of May 2020|
|7 – 8 – 9||Sunday 10, Thursday 14, Monday 18, and Wednesday 20 of May 2020|
Health workers, National Civil Police agents, and members of the Armed Forces may enter supermarkets, pharmacies, and banks, regardless of the ending number of their Personal Identification Document; as opposed to the other persons who must present it when entering these establishments.
Decree 24 modified the absolute prohibition of public transportation of passengers, only allowing the mobilization of duly identified health personnel; also it enabled fishing as a commercial and industrial activity, allowed during the validity of this Decree.
The Decree establishes that the Government will provide free transportation to all those with chronic diseases, cancer, kidney failure, diabetes and other similar illnesses from their home to the hospital and vice versa.
It is important to mention that those persons who do not have their Personal identification Document, or those documents that are illegible or destroyed, may contact the National Registry of Natural Persons to have a certification issued, with which they may circulate and carry out the procedures allowed by this Decree.
Decree 24 will be in force for 13 days from the day following its publication in the Official Gazette, so its effects will cease on May 22nd, 2020.