On March 21, 2020, the Government issued the executive Decree No. 12 (“the Decree”), whereby it has established several measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of its most important aspects include:

  • Purpose: the purpose of the Directive is to impose a national household quarantine and to limit commercial activities for 30 days. The Directive provides for certain exceptions that are described below.
  • Authorization to circulate. the following people can circulate during the quarantine:
    1. One person per family who will be allowed to acquiring food, basic necessities, pharmaceuticals, and medical treatments for the whole family. This person may go out twice a week.
    2. Employees in companies or industries exempted from the restrictions.
    3. Journalists and press employees.
    4. Those who assist children, the elderly, people with disabilities, or people especially vulnerable due to chronic diseases who must go to health care centers.
    5. Employees of financial and insurance entities.
    6. Health workers.
    7. People who, due to force majeure events, must move to address the emergency.
    8. Public employees required to combat the pandemic.
    9. Judges and court employees, who, according to the Constitution, cannot defer their constitutional attributions.
    10. People who work for food homedelivery services.
    11. Police agents, the armed forces and immigration services, among others.
    12. Congresspeople and employees of the Legislative Assembly.
    13. People who work in cargo vehicles for the transport and distribution of merchandise that are part of the food supply chain or other essential products. Also, those whose activity is the import or export of goods.
  • Requirements to transit: Employees of exempted companies must carry an authorization letter from their employer and an ID from the company. The authorization must include the name of the company, identification number of the employee, company´s address, contact information, and work hours.
  • Exempted Companies. The following companies can continue operating in their facilities:
    1. Textile companies that produce health goods and services or any product necessary to attend the emergency, such as food, cleaning products, toilet paper, sanitary towels, among others.
    2. Call centers whose purpose is the sale and distribution of food at home (delivery services), airline service, and those providing services to electricity, telecommunications, banking, financial, and health companies.
    3. Security services, gas stations, passenger transportation (which must operate at half of their capacity), taxi services and private transportation services, cargo transportation and the media.
    4. Public and private distribution services for potable water, including those companies dedicated to its construction and maintenance, postal services and mail.
    5. Agriculture, livestock, beekeeping, fish farming, agroindustry and its distribution operations.
    6. Financial services such as banks, credit, financial, and saving companies, insurance companies, securitization companies, the stock market, brokerage houses, product exchanges and pension funds.
    7. Public and private laboratories, health services such as public and private hospitals, private clinics (except for dental clinics), veterinary services (in emergencies), and others companies strictly related to health, as well as other companies dedicated to the distribution of goods indicated in this item.
  • Health measures: Exempted companies must implement health measures to protect their employees. These measures include social distancing (i.e., maintaining a distance no less than one meter between people) and avoid physical contact.
  • Special Exceptions: Companies that undertake vital activities to address the crisis can request a special permit to continue operating in their facilities.
  • Vehicles: Vehicles can circulate to carry out the activities described above or to supply gas stations.
  • Sanctions: People who infringe the quarantine will be confined in quarantine centers or their homes and will not enjoy any governmental compensation. Companies that continue operating and are outside the scope of exceptions will be closed temporarily.
  • Compensation: compensation bonus of US $ 300 per house will be granted to people with no employment relationship, no permanent income and who are affected by the pandemic. Public employees who carry out activities directly related to the combat of COVID-19 will receive a US $150 bonus.
  • Application: The Decree will enter into force as from its publication in the Official Gazette and will be in force for 30 days.


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