The government of Paraguay decided this weekend to impose tighter restrictions effective April 27 through May 10 in an attempt to slow down the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which is reportedly reaching unprecedented records.
Through the signing of Decree 5160 Saturday, President Mario Abdo Benítez enacted the new sanitary measures which include a curfew between 8pm and 5am in large cities now considered to be red zones. The seemingly endless list of places which have fallen into that category includes, as expected, Ciudad del Este and Asunción. Curfew at other, less risky places will start at midnight.
Businesses will operate understaffed to allow for social distancing and within well-ventilated environments, while home delivery or take-away activity is encouraged.
Wheareas for restaurants, those within red code areas, seating outdoors is to be preferred or, if indoors, tables shall be two meters apart from one another and with up to four clients, who shall not be allowed to interact with customers at other tables. In addition to that, booking will be mandatory to observe crowd caps.
The Ministry of Finance has been empowered to establish and communicate the new economic measures to support the formal sectors that will have their activities restricted according to the decree.
It is now that we have to push to mitigate the contagions of the pandemic, said Adriana Amarilla, Health Promotion Director at the Health Ministry.
Meanwhile, Health Surveillance Director Guillermo Sequera underlined that the entire Southern Cone was going through a similar situation pandemicwise.
Interior Minister Arnaldo Guizzio warned agents would be deployed to enforce the measures. The National Police will be putting all its effort into the controls in Asunción and the Central Department. Control fences will be established and in cases of violation of these measures, minutes will be drawn up and sent to the legal direction of the Health Ministry to open proceedings and apply sanctions, fines in this case, he explained. And National Defense Minister Bernardino Soto Estigarribia said military personnel will be supporting the National Police.
Classes will be on-site or on-line or a combination of both as per the protocol and operational guide for the safe return to educational institutions 2021 of the Education Ministry. But college education shall be exclusively be online.
Social events may not exceed four hours and shall require prior scheduling, regardless whether the venues are private or public. For indoor spaces there hall be a 25 people limit and 50 for outdoors spaces. But mixed outdoors/indoors events shall not be allowed. In the rest of the country not under red label, the number of guests is automatically doubled.
Welcoming guests at people's residence shall be off limits within the red area, menaing only regular household members shall be allowed in. But in non-red zones up to five guests are permitted, provided they prioritize outdoors spaces, wear masks and comply with all sanitary measures
In red zones, the practice of individual sports is allowed, but no competitions, while activities involving up to 4 people per team may gon on in non-red areas.
Gymnasiums may operate provided a four meter separation between goers is observed and with prior booking.