Colombia Extends Curfew Until July 15, Some Discretion For Restaurants & Worship Delegated To Mayors
Last Thursday Colombia’s President Ivan Duque announced a further extension to Colombia’s national curfew in response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic to July 15 in Decree 878 of June 25, but also modified Decree 847 of June 14, allowing limited pilots of restaurant and church reopenings.
According to the president during his nightly television address during the Pandemic, municipalities that had few or no COVID-19 cases could experiment with restaurant reopenings “obviously with all the protocols authorized by the mayors and with the measures that have been recommended by the Ministry of Health.”
Duque decreed that “the mayors of the municipalities and districts, in coordination with the Ministry of the Interior, may authorize the implementation of pilot plans in establishments and premises of companies that provide food service, to provide attention to the public on site, face-to-face or table service, as long as the biosafety protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection are complied with at all times, for the development of this activity.”
As far as worship, “the religious services that may involve the gathering of people may be allowed as long as authorization is obtained from the mayors in coordination with the Ministry of the Interior and that the protocols of biosecurity issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection for the development of this activity are complied with.”
Duque also emphasized that there will be no vaccine anytime soon and that as a country, Colombians are going to have to adapt.
“We must understand that it is not a viable option for the sustainability of our societies to simply say: we are going to lock ourselves in until a vaccine appears; we have to learn to live with this virus (covid-19) and we have to beat it…We Colombians cannot fall into defeatism to say that somewhere we have not been judicious enough, and then the only alternative has to be to shut ourselves up, no. We, as a society have to demonstrate that it is our discipline, our civic culture that takes us forward.”
Colombia’s travel industry is shut down, with no commercial aviation operating, and most hotels completely shut down. Casinos, bars, discos, amusement parks and recreation centers are closed, and restaurants so far have only been authorized for takeout and delivery service. With certain exceptions for essential services, Colombians are only allowed out in public on certain days of the week based on their “cédula” or national ID numbers as a public health measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic. All public gatherings until now have been prohibited, and by presidential decree, all jobs that can be done remotely, whether government or private sector, must be done remotely.