AUGUST 18, 2020

Necessity and Urgency Decree No. 677/2020: mandatory and preventive social insulation and social distancing.



Public Law Department report | Necessity and Urgency Decree No. 677/2020: 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 Necessity and Urgency Decree No. 677/2020 – published on August 16th, 2020- which introduced some modifications to those areas subject to mandatory and preventive social insulation and for those under social distancing, between August 17th and August 30th.

Along its first chapter, the Decree identifies the jurisdictions that will be subjected to the social distancing regime: every department belonging to the provinces of Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Córdoba, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, La Pampa, Formosa, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquén, Río Negro, Santa, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Fe, Tucumán, Tierra Del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur, except for Río Grande, Santa Cruz, except for Güer Aike, Jujuy, except for Manuel Belgrano, Ledesma, El Carmen and San Pedro, La Rioja, except for Capital and Chamical, Salta, except for José de San Martín, Santiago del Estero, except for Capital and La Banda and all of the Departments of the Provincia de Buenos Aires, with exception of those included in the AMBA region.

Social distancing requires compliance with the following requirements: (i) an adequate health system with the 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. Nonetheless, the following prohibitions have been established: (i) meetings during working hours that do not comply with 2-meters distance and correct ventilation of spaces, and (ii) prohibition of family reunions or events in closed spaces or in people’s domiciles. As per the request of the Governors, the Chief of Cabinet may authorize exceptions to said prohibitions, with the requirement of a previously approved protocol.

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, the Departments of Manuel Belgrano, Ledesma, El Carmen and San Pedro from Jujuy, Güer Aike from Santa Cruz, Río Grande from Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur, Capital and Chamical, from La Rioja, General José de San Martin from Salta and Capital City and La Banda, from Santiago del Estero.

Essential and authorized activities remain as established by Decree 641/2020, along with those activities that were incorporated by Administrative Decisions No. 1289/20, 1294/20, 1329/20 and No. 1436/20, requiring the approval of protocols by sanitary provincial or City of Buenos Aires authorities.

The granting of new authorizations for new activities is also kept with no changes and depends on the number 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. The Chief of Cabinet is entitled to the authorization of any of the aforementioned activities, as per request of the Governor or the Chief of the City of Buenos Aires.

Lastly, the Decree’s third chapter includes common dispositions to both mandatory and preventing social insulation and social distancing, mainly regarding to 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.

Should you require any further information on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Juan Antonio Stupenengo
Florencia Cairella