HRS COVID-19 Weekly Report


Argentina

The World Health Organization (WHO) is carrying out 4 different studies in order to combat COVID-19. Argentina is one of the 10 countries that is collaborating with this study. Argentine frontiers continue to be closed even for Argentinian residents living abroad. Argentinian Foreign Relations Ministry will assist Argentinian nationals abroad with their basic needs until they are able to return to Argentina. All Argentines are to remain in quarantine until April 12th and can only go out to shop for food or medicine and take dogs out for short walks. Schools and universities continue to be closed. Classes are being delivered virtually in many establishments. Public and Administrative offices, private offices, national parks, theatres and cinemas continue to be closed. To help alleviate financial problems, the government issued a decree to order the suspension of all evictions from properties during 180 days and prohibit any increases in rent and mortgage payments until the finalization of the quarantine, when differences will be calculated and paid. Renewals of residency permits and visas that were due between March 17th and April 15th are extended for 30 days.


Aruba

The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Aruba is now 50. It has also been announced that hospital visits by the general public are not allowed moving forward. This is because it is very difficult to follow and enforce social distancing rules at the hospital. Some exceptions are in place for pediatric patients and for maternity-related visits. All Schools and other educational institutions remains closed. Also all shopping malls, all flea markets, tourist markets and kiosks, beauty shops (hair, nails, etc.), barber shops are closed. In bars, food trucks, bakeries and restaurants, only takeout and delivery is allowed. Casinos, nightclubs, adult entertainment, art expos, recreational centers, cinemas, companies offering recreational activities, gyms and other exercise facilities, places where sports is practiced, museums are also closed, as well as places offering meeting and/or event facilities, churches and construction projects. Mandatory curfew still effective from 21:00 to 06:00. From 06:00 to 21:00 only up to 3 people meetings, people can go out only for grocery and medical supplies.


Barbados

The number of COVID-19 cases has increased to 26. Curfew has started to be effective from last Saturday March 28th from 20:00 to 06:00 (local time) nationwide in an effort to contain the spread of the virus outbreak on the island. According to the statement, the curfew will remain effective until Wednesday, April 15th. Additionally, all non-essential businesses are to remain closed across the island until Wednesday, April 15th.


Brazil

This country is facing two conflicts: firstly, it is fighting against the COVID-19 with more than 3,500 cases and 140 deaths. Also, they have a political conflict since the President Jair Bolsonaro remains in denial and does not agree with the lockdown the states are imposing. In most of the states only essential services are still working.

Last Friday (March 27th, 2020), the Minister of State Chief of Staff of the Presidency, Justice and Public Security, Infrastructure and Health has just published the Ordinance Act 152, exceptionally and temporarily restricting the entrance of foreigners in Brazil by air, regardless of their nationality, for a period of 30 days. The measure is necessary due to the recommendation from the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) in order to combat the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

The restriction on foreigners entering the country does not apply to: Brazilian, born or naturalized; immigrant with permanent residence, for a fixed or indefinite period, in Brazilian territory; foreign professional on mission at the service of an international organization, as long as duly identified; foreign employee accredited by the Brazilian Government; foreigner in the condition of: a) spouse, partner, son, father or curator of a Brazilian, b) whose entry is specifically authorized by the Brazilian Government in a clear public interest; and c) bearer of the National Migration Registry; transport of goods; passenger in international transit, as long as he does not leave the international area of the airport and the country of destination admits his ticket; technical landing to refuel when there is no need to disembark passengers of restricted nationalities; and flight crew and airline employees in the country for operational purposes, albeit foreign. Exceptionally, the foreigner who is in a land frontier country and needs to cross it to board a flight back to his country of residence may enter Brazil and go directly to the airport to receive authorization from the Federal Police, upon previous official request from the embassy or consulate of your country of residence, upon presentation of the corresponding air tickets. The failure to comply with these measures will result in civil, administrative and criminal liability, as well as immediate repatriation or deportation and the disqualification of refugee application.

Bolivia

96 positive cases, 4 deaths. Quarantine until April 14th. Permissions to leave home between 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 (noon), allowed only for specific critical needs: Grocery/pharmacy, etc. organized by last digit of ID card: Mon: 1-2 Tues: 3-4 Wed. 5-6 Thurs: 7-8 Fri: 9-0. Must have ID card. Age requirement 18-65. Saturday and Sunday there is no permissions to leave. If found in violation of this, then a fine will be applied and also incarceration. No transportation. Transportation violation implies a fine plus jail.


Chile

Control measures for the entry of foreigners have been reinforced, only Chileans are allowed to enter Chile and foreigners with an actual residence (not in process). From Sunday 22nd a curfew from 22:00 to 05:00 has been established. There are sanitary barriers in various cities along Chile with strict control of entry and exit. Schools, Universities and group activities are still suspended. Restaurants, bars, shops, shopping and malls are closed, with the exception of Pharmacies, Supermarkets and Banks, which have office hours. Some state offices are attending but only special cases. Businesses that would be possible to perform remote work are doing so, but those that are strategically important continue to operate with minimal staff on shifts. As of yesterday, total of cases 2,449 with 8 people dead and 156 recovered. More than 2,000 tests are practiced daily.

New status on Immigration procedures: All Consular processes are suspended at least for 1 month. There is not a fixed date to have the system available yet. All Chilean consulates are closed for visa processing. Immigration processing system in Chile is working and we continue processing new cases and monitoring cases in progress. All tourist entrance must be extended before the due date.


Colombia

The number of COVID-19 cases has increased to 608. Quarantine remains active countrywide. Border and airports also remain closed, all non-essential businesses remain closed. Hotels and Temp Living remains operational. Health certificate format is being asked in order to do any check-in into this facilities. The time count will be suspended, provisionally, for the Safe Passes of Permanence, the Extensions of Permanence and the Special Permission of Permanence (PEP).

Time of suspension would go until next May 30th or until the term established by the National Government for the health emergency is met. In the case of those foreign citizens who had to register their visa or issue their immigration certificate, Immigration Authority clarified that the Entity will refrain from initiating any type of administrative action if the citizen was unable to carry out this procedure, within the established terms by law, due to the current situation.

Finally, those foreign citizens who, due to the current situation, were unable to leave the national territory before the expiration of their Entry and Permanence Permit, which was granted upon entering the country, Immigration Authority clarified that they should not carry out the extension of permanence, with the commitment to leave the country, once the flight situation is normalized. In front of the public service and in order to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and to care for its officials, the service in its 27 Facilitators of Migration Services will be suspended until April 13th, in accordance with the mandatory isolation instruction decreed by the National Government.


Costa Rica

314 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Costa Rican Government has decided that effective March 24th, 2020, all foreigners residing or with a valid immigration condition in the country, who leave the national territory, will automatically lose their immigration status. Total closure of beaches throughout the country, obligatory closure of temples and religious services. Borders are not closed yet but 14 days of quarantine are required on arrival. Extension for visitors visa due to the emergency situation is until May 17th. No official lockdown has been declared but the population is strongly advised to stay home. No driving is allowed between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. countrywide.


Dominican Republic

The government has declared the country in State of Emergency until April 13th, 2020. National curfew is in effect from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. (24 hour curfew is anticipated). Suspension of all consular services in the Dominican Republic and in the consulates abroad. Cancelation of flights scheduled to and from Europe, China, Korea and Iran. Forced home quarantine for passengers who arrived from any of those countries into the Dominican Republic within the last 2 weeks.All cruises and port activity is suspended. Borders are closed nationwide (except for departure of foreign nationals and cargo ships that carry basic supplements and fuels). Suspension of School instruction until April 13th, 2020 is in place. Massive gatherings are suspended for 15 days and restaurants only open for delivery and take out. All commercial activities are suspended, except for pharmacies, supermarkets, gas stations, medical laboratories and hospitals. Rigorous Social quarantine for people 65+ years of age. Implementation of home office and flexible hours. Continue implementing social quarantine and hygiene measures.

Health specific Measures:

• Release of COVID-19 tests only to certified labs; • Enable more Quarantine Centers; • Limit the number of visits of people in hospitals and clinics; • It is imperative to notify the authorities of any new case of COVID-19; • Private Health Centers can enable special areas to treat COVID-19; • ARS Insurance companies in order to support prevention and containment measures have agreed to include COVID-19 test in their covered services list.


Ecuador

Country is under state of emergency as of March 17th, 2020. All borders are closed. All incoming flights are cancelled, both national and international, until April 5th. Mandatory Quarantine has been declared. Only Health professionals and institutions, banks and food providers are open. Car circulation is restricted by plate number and only to provide medicine, food or any health emergencies. Curfew from 14h00 until 5h00 as of March 17th. Schools are closed until further notice. As of yesterday, 1,890 cases and 57 deaths.


El Salvador

30 confirmed cases of COVID-19. President Bukele orders 15 more days of curfew.

Guatemala

36 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Borders are closed for foreign visitors. Legal residents can only arrive in Guatemala by land from Mexico. 15-day Mandatory quarantine for residents arriving. All ongoing/incomplete immigration processes of foreigners that were left due to the virus spread are on hold. Until now, no prolongation for visitors visa due to the COVID-19 situation. Quarantine extended until April 12th with curfew from 16h00 until 4h00.


Guyana

Airports in Guyana are now partially closed for 14 days. Only outgoing flights, cargo, medevac, technical and any other specially authorized flights are allowed. Schools remain closed until further notice. No much official information is available from the current government.


Honduras

67 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Borders are closed for foreign visitors. 15-day Mandatory quarantine for residents arriving. All ongoing/incomplete immigration processes of foreigners that were left due to the virus spread are on hold. Until now, no prolongation for visitors visa due to the COVID-19 situation.


Mexico

Over the weekend, the federal government finally announced an official request for all non-essential business to close and for the Mexican population to shelter in place. This was a 180 degree turn from the relaxed stance taken by the president last week where he repeatedly assured everyone there was nothing to worry about. He also published a video online showing him holding a graph of the expected cases, stating there will not be enough hospital beds if the numbers are correct. The federal department of health explained in a press conference on Sunday, how they were preparing for the pandemic during it’s different phases, however numbers were far from reality (1,200 ICU units supposedly ready for a population in Mexico City of 9 million) and questions from the press were not answered concisely. Confirmed cases are almost 1,000 in the whole country but very few testing is being done. Official numbers are highly unreliable.


Panama

1,075 people infected, 27 deaths, 9 recovered. Most of them are between the ages of 20-80. There are 43 people in critical conditions. Most of the infected are located in the capital (51.4%). People only have 2 hours a day to buy essential supplies at the supermarket and the pharmacy depending on the last number of the ID cards plus Curfew from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Closure of borders. All Flights were canceled for 30 days. Suspension of classes at all levels. Cancellation of social, sporting, cultural and religious events. Sanitary checkpoints between cities to prevent people from going out of the city and to the beaches. Mandatory quarantine for the entire population. Isolation for 14 days people coming from abroad is mandatory. The only places that should be opened are the pharmacies and supermarkets. Some restaurants are opened only to order by delivery. Price and quantity control for cleaning and personal hygiene products. There is a call center to answer questions – 169. R.O.S.A virtual platform (automated health response) digital medical office attended by doctors and can be used also by WhatsApp. All migratory processes are suspended. Authorities are not going to ask for updated visas on the streets. Expired passports are allowed. All embassies are closed.


Paraguay

As of last night, Paraguay registered 5 more positive cases of COVID-19, out of 105 tests made. It totalizes 64 cases, 1 recovered patient and 3 passed away. Last Saturday the President Mario Abdo decided to continue the total quarantine until April 12th. The Government is making some decision to minimize the economic impact because of lots of people not having incomes anymore. Approximately 100 Paraguayan citizens entered the Country last Saturday but remain in quarantine for 15 days in special installations for this purpose. Some members of the Congress (80 Diputados) decided to donate 20% of their salaries to help people without jobs. During the week the Government will add some economic measures.


Peru

Peruvian Board of Ministers has approved the State of Emergency applicable since the time of the publication in the State Bulletin, just before midnight 03/15/2020. Initially valid for 15 days, with the possibility of being extended. State of emergency includes: restricted mobility to all citizens, everybody must stay at home, except in cases of force majeure. At any case the movement of citizens will be always unaccompanied. Closure of all establishments carrying out public activity except for the distribution of food and basic needs. All educational activity in person is suspended. Terms are suspended and time limits for processing procedures of public sector entities are interrupted. The Government has declared a curfew from Wednesday 18th 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. every day until the end of the quarantine.

Official organizations have closed or limited their activity. There is an alarm decree that will suspend the deadlines for all administrative processes from March 16th to March 30th, 2020, with the possibility of an extension. The terms will continue at the moment in which the mentioned decree or its extensions lose validity.


Immigration procedures will be affected as follows:

• Suspension of the appointments for DNI, passports and residence cards (procedure for taking fingerprints); • Suspension of the appointments included in the dates March 16th to March 30th, 2020. Expeditions will be specifically attended for justified reasons of urgency. Once normality is restored, all appointments will be rescheduled; • The Civil Registries will remain closed; this measure will affect the procedures for nationality and obtaining duplicates of certificates; • Face-to-face assistance is suspended in the offices of foreigners for information and appointments; • The Public Administration will continue to work electronically, and if you have to renew or modify a residence permit, you should not be worry, these may be initiated during this period, through the different platforms enabled by the different administrations (immigration and nationality procedure), with the observation that the resolution periods may vary.


Procedures available for electronic filing:

• Initial residence and work authorizations for highly qualified professionals, intra-company transfer, entrepreneurs and investors; • Renewals of temporary residence and work authorization; • Long Term Residence Permits; • Modifications of residence authorization; • Renewal of study authorizations; • Permanent Residence of Family Member of the EU Citizen; • Authorization for students; • Initial residence authorization for internships or job search.


Trinidad

The Trinidad and Tobago Government announced new “stay at home” measures, for the non-essential labor force, effective midnight March 29th until April 15th. All British nationals in T&T should adhere to all precautionary measures put in place by the local authorities. Borders remains closed and all airports are closed. Only Cargo flights with special authorization are allowed.


Suriname

Airports and Borders remain closed since March 14th until further notice. Starting March 29th 2020, the Government of Suriname have instituted a nationwide curfew from20:00 to 06:00 as a counter measure to the spread of COVID-19. This curfew will last two weeks and expires on April 12th 2020. The Jodenbreestraat market in downtown of Paramaribo is closed. Other smaller markets have been assigned specific hours of operation. Nightclubs and bars are closed, and restaurants are only selling food and drink to take out.


Venezuela

129 cases of COVID-19 confirmed. All educational levels remain suspended, mandatory quarantine still active in all regions; all international and domestic flights still banned. As of Monday March 30th, stricter controls over movement of people will be imposed in Miranda, La Guaira and the Capital District.

Medical experts warn that the decay of Venezuela's health system and the economic collapse will not help the government attempts to control the spread of the virus. Also, all fuel reserves in the country are to a minimum, the regular citizen has very limited access to all gas station as only medical and special authorized personnel are allowed to fill their gas tanks in all the regions. Gas stations are under military control. High government officers and President Nicolas Maduro have been declared by The US Justice Department announced Thursday (March 26th) as "narco-terrorists" and offered US$15 million for information leading to his capture, which obviously add a rare atmosphere to the country.

Only essential goods selling is allowed and only sanitary, health and food staff can freely stay in the streets.

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