Last night, Colombian President Ivan Duque announced that the COVID-19 health emergency was being extended from September 1 until November 30, but the mandatory curfew will enter a new phase called “Selective Isolation.”
“We want to inform the country that a new phase begins on September 1, where we change the concept of Mandatory Preventive Isolation, with a significant number of exceptions, to having a concept of Selective Isolation, distancing and individual responsibility,” said President Duque on his nightly COVID-19 Pandemic focused TV show ‘Prevention and Action’.
Duque pointed out that in this new stage, “we are no longer going to be governed by exceptions, but by specific restrictions, where restrictions will apply to events and crowds, where we will continue to advance in the opening of sectors with the protocols that have been established by the Ministry of Health, observing the criteria where we all continue to protect ourselves to protect others.”
The president underlined his intention to reopen transportation networks and some entertainment options, but the pandemic and public behavior would be closely monitored, and adjustments made as necessary. The government is also working on a plan to reopen schools, which generally would have already restarted under the Colombian scholastic calendar.
Duque insisted that those able to telework continue to do so, and that they still plan to reopen air travel, gymnasiums and physical fitness facilities, and restaurants, though events and crowds will still remain restricted. Restaurants will open to diners under diminished capacity restrictions, and open-air dining will be encouraged.