On July 7, the Colombian President Ivan Duque announced the extension of the national lockdown until August 1, 2020. He explained that municipalities with low contagion rates could start opening restaurants, theaters and sports clubs upon request to the authorities. Those municipalities with high contagion rates could draw up pilot projects to be developed in the future when these rates fall. The Government is expected to issue a Decree on these measures in the next few days.
Duque explained that the persons and sectors contemplated within the regime of exceptions may continue operating and announced that the Government will begin to draw up protocols for religious services to resume next week. It will also start studying possible mechanisms for children to return to their classrooms in less affected areas. People under 70 may continue carrying out recreational activities in public spaces for two hours a day, while those over 70 must continue to shelter at home.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance issued a decree regulating VAT and and income tax refund mechanisms. The measure stipulates that those who bear 25% of the costs, expenses and/or sales taxes (VAT) that can be deducted, as the case may be, through a validated electronic sales invoicing system are entitled to automatic tax rebates. This applies to tax returns filed until December 31, 2020. The regulation is already in force.