On july 19, President Sebastián Piñera presented his “Step-by-Step” Plan, a gradual strategy to tackle the pandemic according to the situation in each area of the country. The initiative includes 5 stages or gradual steps, ranging from Strict Quarantine to Advanced Opening, each with different restrictions and obligations. The advance or retreat from one particular step to another will be subject to epidemiological indicators, the state of the healthcare network and traceability.
In his announcement, Piñera highlighted that in the last five weeks the number of active patients has fallen, allowing the “Step-by-Step” Plan to be introduced.
It should be noted that Chile’s public policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are designed at regional level, based on an overall picture of the health situation. Chile currently has 65 communes in the most restrictive stage of the Plan, notably the Metropolitan region.
Below is a brief detail of each phase of the Plan:
The first step is lockdown, with restrictions on: personal mobility; exclusive permits for essential activities; compliance with curfew, physical distancing and customs, and sanitary standards; mandatory quarantines for persons over 75 years of age; the prohibition of moving to another domicile.
The second step is transition. The degree of lockdown is relaxed, but there is no abrupt opening to minimize the risks of contagion. The lockdown measures remain in place on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, with an offset allowed regarding compliance with curfew and health standards and the mandatory quarantine for those over 75 years of age. The suspension of face-to-face classes, border closures and the ban on clubs, cinemas, theaters, pubs, and gyms and serving the public in cafes and restaurants continues. Social and recreational activities of more than 10 people are prohibited.
The third step is preparation, lifting the lockdown for the general population, with the exception of those in risk groups. While compliance with curfew, customs and health standards is maintained, social and recreational activities are allowed any day of the week with an attendance of 50 people and travel is permitted at an allocated time. The suspension of in-person classes is still in effect, unless requested by mayors, along with the closing of borders and ban on clubs, cinemas, theaters, pubs, and gyms as well as serving the public in cafes and restaurants.
The fourth step is the initial opening. It includes compliance with curfew, customs and sanitary standards, but allows movement and older adults to go out once a day. A gradual return to in-person classes is authorized. Cinemas and theaters with a maximum capacity at 25% are permitted, along with customer service in restaurants and cafes at the same capacity. Clubs, pubs, and gyms remain closed. Events of more than 50 people are not permitted.
The fifth step is advanced opening, authorizing people to move to second homes and the free movement of the elderly. The gradual return of in-person classes continues. Theaters and cinemas can operate with a maximum capacity of 75%, along with cafes and restaurants, and gyms, pubs and clubs are allowed to open at 50% capacity. Events of more than 150 people are not permitted.