General Report | Mandatory, social, preventive isolation policy. National Decree No. 297/2020.
Within the state of sanitary emergency declared regarding COVID-19, the National Executive Branch issued its Decree No. 297/2020 – published today, March 20th–, through which it enacted a mandatory, social, preventive isolation measure, which extends to both permanent and temporary residents (the “Isolation Measure”), from March 20th through March 31st – both dates included. The Isolation Measure could be extended if the epidemiological situation requires so.
While the Policy is in effect, everyone must remain at their home or at the place where they were at 00:00 hours of March 20th. Furthermore, they must abstain from attending their workplace and travelling through roads and public spaces. Minimal and essential movement will be allowed only for the provision of foodstuffs, medicine and cleaning products. All cultural, recreational, sporting and religious events are banned, as well as any other public gathering. Shops, shopping malls, wholesale or retail stores, and any other public access establishment, will be closed.
Federal and local security forces will enforce compliance with the Isolation Measure. If they verify non-compliance, they shall immediately put an end to such conduct and will refer those involved to the corresponding authorities; offenders will be sanctioned with fifteen (15) days up to two (2) years imprisonment.
Those involved in activities and services deemed essential during the emergency are exempted from the Isolation Measure; their movement must be strictly limited to the fulfillment of said activities or services. Those exempted from the Isolation Measure, as detailed in Decree No. 297/2020, are: (1) personnel involved in healthcare, firefighting, meteorological, air traffic control and migrations control or part of the armed and security forces; (2) higher authorities of the National, Provincial and City of Buenos Aires’s governments; (3) employees of the judicial branch on call; (4) foreign diplomatic and consular personnel; (5) those who have to assist the disabled, the elderly, kids or teens; (6) those who have to attend to a force majeure situation; (7) funerary services personnel; (8) communal and school diners personnel; (9) audiovisual communication, radio, and print press personnel; (10) public works personnel.
Furthermore, per Decree No. 297/2020, the following activities and industries are exempted from the Isolation Measure: (1) wholesale and retail supermarkets and proximity stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, veterinaries and gas carafes stores; (2) foodstuffs industries as well as their productions chains and suppliers, medical equipment industries, drug labs, personal hygiene and sanitary products industries; (3) agricultural and fishing production, distribution and commercialization activities; (4) telecommunications activities, fixed and mobile internet providers and digital services providers; (5) urgent foreign trade activities; (6) urban, dangerous or pathogenic residue collection, transportation and processing; (7) maintenance of basic services (water, electricity, gas, communications, etc.) and emergency services; (8) public transportation and transportation of merchandise, oil, fuels and liquid petroleum gas; (9) home delivery of foodstuffs, medicine, hygiene and sanitation products and other necessity items; (10) washing services; (11) postal and package distribution services; (12) essential security, guarding and cleaning services; (13) minimal guards are to be maintained to ensure normal operation and maintenance of oil and gas deposits, treatment and refining plants; the transportation and distribution of electrical energy and liquid fuels, oil and gas; functioning of gas stations and electrical power generators and (14) Casa de la Moneda S.E. (money printing), ATM’s, transport of cash and valuables and other activities which Argentina’s Central Bank (from the Spanish, Banco Central de la República Argentina) authorizes.
The National Chief of Staff can expand or reduce the aforementioned exceptions with the advice of sanitary and health authorities. We consider it likely that in coming hours and days the National Chief of Staff will issue, with guidance from sanitary authorities, new regulations detailing and clarifying the extension of the aforementioned exceptions.
While the Isolation Measure is in effect, private sector employees will receive their usual incomes following the guidelines that will be set by the National Ministry for Work, Employment and Social Security.
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Beccar Varela team