Colombia’s quarantine measures extended until August 30

‘There will be weeks when we’ll see challenges’ says President Duque as he announces that the nationwide compulsory isolation will continue for another month.

Colombia’s new normal: Social distancing and empty streets.

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Colombia approaches 270,000 and the number of deaths passes the 9,000 mark, President Iván Duque has announced that the country’s mandatory isolation will continue until August 30.

The isolation was supposed to finish on August 1, but those living in cities like Bogotá, Medellín and Barranquilla which have been implementing stricter lockdowns in recent weeks will not be surprised to hear of the extension.

“We’re not talking about a national peak,” said Duque. “The peaks have presented themselves at regional levels. Some have passed, some will come in the coming weeks and months.”

Duque’s presentation that focused on the administration’s achievements — both by comparing Colombia with other countries in the region in terms of numbers of deaths per million people and in terms of the health supplies that have been delivered to various regions and cities. In doing so, he sought to head off those who are critical of the length of the country’s isolation measures.

What’s all this about the regional measures?

It’s all about the regional measures. Today’s announcement does not extend the lockdown for everybody, rather it extends the timeframe in which the government and local authorities have the power to act and shut down certain sectors, cities or towns. 

Essentially it follows previous moves by continuing to relax the lockdown in areas with limited numbers of cases and tightening restrictions in places with high ICU occupancy and high numbers of cases or deaths.

  • Locations with no or limited cases of COVID-19 will continue to open, but with restrictions on big gatherings such as clubs and concerts.
  • Locations with low and medium COVID-19 cases will continue with pilot schemes, and controlled re-opening or closing organised by local authorities and the ministry of health.
  • Areas with high numbers of cases will continue to see severe measures, increased  testing, and additional courses of action such as strict quarantine of affected sectors. 

So, for example, we’re unlikely to see any changes to Bogotá’s sector-specific rolling quarantine. There’s also the promise of more distanced activities, such as drive-in movies. That said, we’re likely to see continued restrictions on alcohol sales so don’t get any ideas about any socially distanced drinking.

What does it mean for flights?

International flights were supposed to start again in September. Today’s presentation did not address whether the extended isolation will stop this from happening, but the Minister of Health did say that we may have to wait until mid-September before we see a reduction in the numbers of cases in Bogotá. No doubt there will be more announcements in the coming days.

9 COMMENTS

  1. i have an apartement in Medellin, but have not been there for 8 months. Back in Europe-here everything is normal, businesses open, nightclubs open, last month even took few european flights. sad to say but whole Latin America is seriously f..ed up on this. I do believe that only continent with serious long term harm of the virus BS will be Latin America.

  2. I live in Barranquilla with my wife and son. The worst thing I see is the lack of education. They are wonderful people and do what they can to survive bevy they get no help from anyone else. People still go out without protection, there are groups of people on the streets. I agree it’s not the Colombians fault it’s the government. The police do not enforce anything because they take bribes and stop people for money. It’s happened to me 6 times. I am the only one who has left the house since March. I won’t risk my families safety and it hard very hard on them. Because it’s all about family here. My friends say come back home to the US. I would never leave my wife and son here alone. People need to understand to stay home and only go out when it’s their day to go grocery shopping and then go home. Isolation is the only thing that will help right now where I am. Now we have an issue where people are afraid to go to the hospital because they are being told the are positive and when in fact they are not. People who are not in serious condition go and in hours they are they dead. It’s very corrupt here and it’s a shame they do this to their own people. My wife and I have been making 3d printed face masks and giving them to street vendors to sell so they can make money to feed their family. But I’m running out of filament and don’t have the money to keep doing this. We have made 2485 face shields so far. I have asked companies for donating filament and even another printer to keep up with the demand.

  3. hi ,i am also Canadian has offer me a way back almost every week, since the crisis. It is not the Colombians fault!It is your choice to stay here as it is mine.

  4. The reality is that Colombian federal and departmental/local government is just grasping at straws – trying to find a fix for a problem that has no fix. The quarantine will be extended to Oct 1, then Nov. 1, then Jan 1, 2021. The really scary prospect is that there is no one to step up and say that this virus needs to be accepted like seasonal flu is accepted in cold climates. Over 65 w/ diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and other immune issues – need to be quarantined. 99% of the rest will live with the risk of a virus that has 1% risk of serious illness. The Mayor of Bogota is the most dangerous person in the country. Like the former Health Minister of Chile, I don’t believe that she understands the scope of poverty and the downstream costs of her absurd approach and the what a lost generation really looks like. But, rest assured – all Colombians will find out soon enough.

  5. Looks like lock downs and masks work…. /s

    There’s only a few countries where they appear to work left….the rest have fallen/failed. Japan and Hong Kong failing now. Vietnam possibly now. Thailand and Taiwan will fail in relatively short order.

  6. This is terrible for people that want to go home we have been stuck in Colombia for six months.we are from Canada we want to see our family again.our flights have been cancelled twice.you tell us to purchase tickets in June make up your mind you are no paying for our tickets.

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