On March 23, President Sebastián Piñera imposed a curfew throughout the country, a measure which came into force on Sunday between 10 pm and 5 am, and covers supermarkets, companies and public transport, among others. Also, the Executive signed a decree imposing new health protocols and closing cinemas, theaters, gyms, and restaurants.
In parallel, the Financial Markets Commission (CMF, for its acronym in Spanish) announced that it is carrying out a review of the process to implement Basel III standards, reporting new measures aimed at giving greater flexibility to the financial system as a result of COVID-19.
Health Minister Jaime Mañalich announced the imposition of the curfew, saying that “the president has decided to implement additional measures to better address the pandemic. We want to point out that we are convinced that quarantine for those diagnosed with Coronavirus is not followed properly. We do not want these people to infect others, and our elderly are at risk because of them. The flow of people between different cities continues and does not seem to commensurate with the magnitude of the health problem faced.”
Regarding the restriction schedule, the minister added that “the President has ordered that, starting today (March 22) at night, a curfew shall be imposed throughout the country from 10 pm until 5 am the next day (…) when people must remain at home and thus reduce social contacts.” And he warned that it is “considered necessary to put the town of Puerto Williams under strict quarantine, meaning that no one may enter or leave that town, except those handling essential cargo.
Given the current circumstances, the CMF indicated that the date when some of the Basel III regulations will be implemented is to be reviewed in order to avoid exacerbating the negative effects of the economic cycle.
Other new measures adopted by the CMF include initiatives to facilitate the possibility of postponing the payment of mortgage credits by up to three installments, granting banks the possibility of making credit terms for SME debtors up to 6 months more flexible, without this being considered a renegotiation, and extending terms for the disposal of Goods Received in Payment.
It should be noted that the Commission has already strengthened its monitoring functions with respect to the markets and entities it audits, requiring them to inform and implement their plans for operational continuity as well as their evaluation of possible financial impacts.
The Ministry of Science has also announced the creation of a technical-scientific advisory network for COVID-19.
The first meeting of the COVID-19 social board was also held to coordinate an action plan to address the pandemic.