JUNE 30, 2020

Necessity and Urgency Decree No. 576/2020: mandatory and preventive social insulation and social distancing.



Public Law Department report | Necessity and Urgency Decree No. 576/2020: mandatory and preventive social insulation and social distancing

Dear Sir or Madam,

Within the state of the sanitary emergency currently in force, the President issued the Necessity and Urgency Decree No. 576/2020 -published on June 29th, 2020- which stated stronger restrictions for those areas subject to Mandatory and Preventive Social Insulation and new parameters for those jurisdictions under and Social Distancing, between July 1st and July 17th.

Along its first chapter, said Decree identifies the jurisdictions that will be subjected to the Social Distancing regime, being them: every department belonging to the provinces of Catamarca, Chubut, Córdoba, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Formosa, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Misiones, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago Del Estero, Tierra Del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur, Tucumán, Neuquén, except the urban conglomerate of the City of Neuquén, Río Negro, except for General Roca, and all of the jurisdictions of the Province of Buenos Aires, except for the 35 jurisdictions included in the AMBA region.
Social Distancing requires compliance with the following requirements: (i) an adequate health system with capacity to respond the sanitary demand, (ii) that the jurisdiction is not considered as of viral community transmission by the National Sanity Authority, (iii) confirmed cases duplication time isn’t inferior to 15 days. Moreover, the Decree states people’s circulation is only allowed within the limit of their department or municipality, unless for those with Unique Circulation Certificate. Specific conduct parameters will need to be fulfilled, e.g., a minimum distance of 2 meters. Also, said Decree states provincial authorities are entitled to dictate regulations in order to limit circulation to specific timeframes or zones, and state 14 days isolation with regards to people entering their provinces from other jurisdictions.

Also, it is important to point out that for the development of economical, industrial, business or services activities a special protocol is to be required, approved by the sanitary authority and always limiting closed spaces to 50% of its capacity.

Furthermore, the prohibition to develop the following activities is still maintained: (i) public or private events with an attendance of more than 10 people, (ii) the practice of any sports with more than 10 people or that won’t allow a 2-meter distancing, (iii) cinemas, theaters, clubs, cultural centers, (iv) public transportation service for interurban, inter-jurisdictional and international passengers, except for the exceptions previously established (i.e., essential activities), (v) touristic activities.

Also, said Decree keeps the prohibition of personal classes in all of the levels and all of the modalities. The National Ministry of Education will establish for each level and modality, the mechanisms and authorities entitled to regulate the renewal of classes.

In its second chapter, Decree No. 520/2020 establishes Mandatory and Preventing Social Insulation for the following jurisdictions: the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, as defined in the Decree, San Fernando department in the province of Chaco, Bariloche and General Roca departments in the province of Río Negro, Rawson department in the province of Chubut, Córdoba City, and its urban area.

Essential activities as per said Decree are as follows: (i) Health personnel, Security Forces, Armed Forces, migratory activity, National Meteorological Service, firefighters, and air traffic control, (ii) Superior authorities of the National, Provincial, Municipal and City Governments; Workers of the national, provincial, municipal and city public sector specially summoned, (iii) Personnel of the justice services on duty, (iv) Accredited foreign diplomatic and consular personnel, personnel of international organizations, Red Cross and White Helmets, (v) Persons who must assist others with disabilities, family members who need assistance, (viii) Persons assigned to the care of school and community canteens and picnic areas, (ix) Personnel working in audiovisual, radio and graphic communication services, (x) Personnel assigned to public works, (xi) wholesale and retail supermarkets and convenience stores for food, personal hygiene and cleaning. Pharmacies. Hardware stores. Veterinary shops. Provision of carafes, (xii) Food industries, their productive chain and inputs; personal hygiene and cleaning; medical equipment, medicines, vaccines and other sanitary inputs; (xiii) activities related to agricultural and fishing production, distribution and commercialization, (xiv) telecommunications activities, fixed and mobile internet and digital services, (xv) activities related to foreign trade that cannot be postponed, (xvi) collection, transport and treatment of solid urban, dangerous and pathogenic waste, (xvii) maintenance of basic services (water, electricity, gas, communications, etc.) and emergency care, (xviii) public transportation of passengers, goods, oil, fuels and LPG, (xix) home delivery of food, medicines, hygiene products, cleaning and other necessary supplies, , (xx) laundry services, (xxi) postal and parcel distribution services, (xxii) essential vigilance, cleaning and guard services, (xxiii) minimum guards to ensure the operation and maintenance of Oil and Gas fields, Oil and gas treatment and/or refining plants, transport and distribution of electric power, liquid fuels, oil and gas, fuel dispensing stations and electric power generators, (xxiv) State-owned Mint, automatic teller machine services, transport of flows and all those activities authorized by the BCRA, (xxv) operation of Nuclear Power Plants, hotels affected by the emergency health service, operation of airports, garages and parking lots with minimum equipment, restaurants, prepared meals and fast food stores, with home delivery services, movement of ministers of the different religions for the purpose of providing spiritual assistance, (xxvi) registration, identification and documentation of persons, (xxvii) movement of persons with disabilities and professionals who attend to them, banking activity with attention to the public, exclusively with a shift system, (xxviii) national and provincial registry activity, with a shift system and minimum guards, provincial, city and municipal revenue offices, establishments for the care of victims of gender violence, scheduled medical and dental care, clinical analysis laboratories and image diagnosis centres, opticians, (xxix) transfer of children and adolescents, (xxx) ANSES staff.

Also, said Decree states the following activities will also be authorized to circulate, only if the employers provide transportation and so employees do not use public transportation services: (i) industries that are carried out under continuous processes and production and distribution of biofuels, (ii) sale of building materials and inputs provided by barnyards, activities related to production, distribution and marketing of forestry and mining, tanneries, sawmills and wood product factories, mattresses, road and agricultural machinery, exploration, prospecting, production, processing and marketing of nuclear fuel, essential maintenance and fumigation services; (iii) workshops for the maintenance and repair of automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles for personnel with authorization to circulate, sale of spare parts, parts and pieces for automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles only under the door-to-door delivery modality, manufacture of tires, sale and repair of the same for personnel with authorization to circulate, sale of bookstore articles and computer inputs, exclusively under delivery modality, (iv) economic activities developed in Industrial Parks, (v) production for export, with prior authorization granted by the Ministry of Productive Development, (vi) export industries that require inputs produced by others located in areas subject to Isolation, must apply to the Ministry of Productive Development for the operation of such suppliers, sale of goods already made from retail stores through electronic commerce platforms; Telephone sales and other mechanisms that do not require personal contact with clients and only through home delivery, experts and claims adjusters of insurance companies, (vi) personnel affected by the activity of demolition and excavation for emergencies, (vii) sports practice developed by athletes qualified for the Olympic Games.

All of the aforementioned activities require the approval of protocols by sanitary provincial or City of Buenos Aires authorities. The granting of new authorizations for new activities is kept with no changes and depends on the amount of inhabitants of each region (over or under 500,000) and of the specific distinctions made for special jurisdictions (for instance, AMBA).

Also, Mandatory and Preventing Social Insulation maintains restrictions for the development of activities implying people’s reunion; among others, those concerning public and private events, teaching classes, shopping malls, and tourism.

Lastly, said Decree has the third chapter including common dispositions to both Mandatory and Preventing Social Insulation and Social Distancing, mainly regarding epidemiology monitoring schemes, the restriction to circulate for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, the extension of the closure of Argentine borders and inter-jurisdictional circulation.

Please do not hesitate in coming back should you have any queries.

Kind regards,

Juan A. Stupenengo
Florencia Cairella