HRS COVID-19 Weekly Report

May 27, 2020

 

Summary: Mobility within the region continues to be restricted, but some countries start to plan borders re-opening dates. Non-essential businesses continue a slow re-opening with restrictions.

 

 

Argentina


12,628 positive cases, 471 deaths. Total Lockdown continues until June 7th. Argentinian frontiers continue to be closed even for Argentine residents living abroad, but repatriations continue to be gradually implemented.

 

More testing is taking place and the amount of cases is increasing on a daily basis, especially in Buenos Aires and its surrounding areas. Outings are permitted only for walks, not taking public transportation, and must at all times comply with the use of face masks, recommendations of hygiene and social distancing.

 

The government is beginning to ease restrictions in some sectors such as the automotive, chemical and textile industries. Factories may open but personnel is not allowed to take public transport to and from work.

 

Employers need to coordinate transportation means for them. Prevention protocols must be implemented at the workplace and also for anyone going out, complying with the use of face masks, recommendations of hygiene and social distancing.

 

High fines are applied for breaking the quarantine without justification or special permits. Outdoor activities will be authorized according to the policies and guidelines of each jurisdiction. As from Saturday 16th there is a possibility that moving companies may begin delivering household goods but can only do so on weekends.

 

This news is yet to become official. The major train and subway terminals in Buenos Aires have thermo-graphic cameras to detect passengers with high fever. Schools and universities continue to be closed.

 

Classes are being delivered virtually in most establishments. National parks, theatres and cinemas continue to be closed. Banks are open and transactions can be made but only with previous appointments. Public and Administrative offices are closed until further notice.


FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration Offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Immigration Authorities have extended expiration dates for all residences (30 extra days).

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Each case is analyzed separately and consulates are working hard to repatriate their citizens.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? Yes.

 

 

Aruba


101 positive cases, 3 deaths (no changes from last week). The Aruba government has announced that businesses can open with a maximum of 50 people inside the premises, the shelter in place rule, as well as the ban on gatherings of 4 persons or more will be no longer be in effect, as part of the “Level 2” phase of reopening of the local economy.

 

Schools are to be allowed to reopen as all social distancing and hygiene protocols are to be maintained throughout. Aruba’s Minister of Tourism announced tentative plans to reopen Aruba’s borders and mentioned that this could be planned for some time between June 15th and July 1st.


FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration Offices in your country closed? No.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Yes, all of them.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? They can be filed with the actual restrictions of personnel.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Each case is analyzed separately.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No official information available.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information available.


Barbados


92 positive cases, 7 deaths. Under the revised directive, reopening of the local economy has started, businesses can open with limited people inside premises, and schools remain closed. Barbados airport will remain closed to commercial flights until June 30th as previously stated, unless the COVID-19 situation changes drastically.


FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration Offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Only follow up of in-progress files.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Renewal/extensions will be resumed as soon as the quarantine has finished.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Each case is analyzed separately.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information available.

 


Bolivia


6,660 positive cases, 261 deaths. Quarantine continues in place. 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 stay out. If found in violation of this, then a fine will be applied and also incarceration. No transportation. Transportation violation implies a fine plus jail.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration Offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Renewal/extensions will be resumed as soon as the quarantine has finished.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Each case is analyzed separately. There is no official information about a common policy.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? Unknown. 

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information available.

 

 

Brasil

 

374,898 positive cases, 23,473 deaths. Some cities of Brazil have decreed lockdown. On April 28th, 2020, the Minister of State Chief of Staff of the Presidency, Justice and Public Security, Infrastructure and Health has just published the Ordinance Act 203, exceptionally and temporarily restricting the entrance of immigrants in Brazil by air, regardless their nationality, for a period of 30 (thirty) 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.

 

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 an asylum claim.


FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? No, our immigration offices are open to emergency cases. The immigration processes at the Ministry of Justice may have a delay compared to usual deadlines.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Most of the services in Brazil are online and still can be proceeded, although it requires personal presentation and it is not possible at this moment.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? We still can file the renewal request, although the analysis may take longer than expected.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? As a general rule, with the protocol from the renewal is possible to return.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? We still do not have this information, although considering the situation all over the world we believe they will not.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? We still do not have this information, although considering the situation all over the world we believe they will not.

 


Chile


77,961 positive cases, 806 deaths. 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).

 

Curfew from 22:00 to 05:00 is still in place. There are sanitary barriers in various cities along Chile with strict control of entry and exit. All non-essential businesses continue closed. 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. Use of face masks is now mandatory on public transportation.

 

Some locations have implemented use of face masks mandatory while in the streets, but it is not countrywide yet. The Government has taken a new strategy doing massive tests on asymptomatic people, finding an increased positivity in the city of Santiago (about 85% of new cases are in Santiago).

 

In consequence, exit permits to those who are quarantined have been restricted to 7 permits per week per RUT. There are currently 20 quarantined communes in the country.


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.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Yes, the online processes are in force.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Permanent Residency renewals can be submitted online, as well as Visa renewal except from Visa Mercosur.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Up to this moment must do the regular renewal process or get a fine later.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? Yes, if they do not renew their status.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? Applying fines to companies is being reviewed on a case by case basis. It is possible that if it is the first time for this particular company, the fine can be avoided, but the record remains.

 

 

Colombia

 

21,981 positive cases, 750 deaths. Quarantine has been extended until May 31st. All schools and Universities remain closed and will follow with virtual classes until July 31st. Borders and airports also remain closed. It is expected to be reopened by June 30th. All non-essential businesses also remain closed.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? Yes, the online processes are still being received.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? Renewal/extensions will be resumed as soon as the quarantine has finished.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Expiration date will be extended.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information about this topic.

 

 

Costa Rica

 

951 positive cases, 10 deaths. 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. Countrywide lockdown still in place.

 

Only grocery, medicines or supply shopping is allowed. Any person arriving in the country will be passed into 14-day quarantine. All immigration processes are suspended, so no expiration dates will be observed. The entrance of foreign citizens (including resident) is prohibited until June 15th (may be extended) except for the residents who had left Costa Rica before March 25th, legal residents and diplomats.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? The renewals can be executed through the Bank of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Post Office, or B) By prior appointment in the Immigration Offices (once open) with an additional term that must not exceed July 17, 2020.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Visa extension is granted by the government until July 17th.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? If the permit or visa expires during the immigration office closing period, they are exempt of penalty.

 

 

Dominican Republic

 

15,264 positive cases, 468 deaths.

 

General Purpose Measures:

  1. The government has declared the country in state of Emergency until May 10th, 2020;

  2. Suspension of all consular services in the Dominican Republic and in the consulates abroad;

  3. Cancelation of flights scheduled to and from Europe China, Korea and Iran;

  4. Forced home quarantine for passengers who arrived from any of those countries into the Dominican Republic in the last 2 weeks;

  5. Suspension of all cruises and port activity;

  6. Closing of borders (except for departure of foreign nationals and cargo ships that carry basic supplements and fuels);

  7. Suspension of School instruction until further notice;

  8. Suspension of massive gatherings until further notice (restaurants only open for delivery and take out);

  9. Suspension of commercial activities (except for pharmacies, supermarkets, gas stations, medical laboratories, hospitals);

  10. Rigorous social quarantine for people 65+ years of age;

  11. Implementation of home office and flexible hours;

  12. Continue implementing social quarantine and hygiene measures;

  13. Everyone is expected to use face masks when outside.

 

Specific Health Purpose Measures:

  1. Release of COVID – 19 tests to certified labs;

  2. Enable more Quarantine Centers;

  3. Limit the number of visits of people in hospitals and clinics;

  4. It is imperative to notify the authorities of any new case of COVID – 19;

  5. Private Health Centers can enable special areas to treat COVID - 19;

  6. ARS Insurance companies in order to support prevention and containment measures have agreed to include in their covered services the COVID -19 test.

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? None at this time.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? No cases are being managed at this time.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? The government has not determined how they will handle travelers with expired immigration documents once the travel ban is removed.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? The government has agreed to waive penalties while in state of emergency but we do not know for how long penalties will continue to be waivered after the state of emergency is removed.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? The government has agreed to waive penalties while in state of emergency but we do not know for how long penalties will continue to be waivered after the state of emergency is removed.

 

 

Ecuador

 

37,355 positive cases, 3,203 deaths. Country is starting a new phase, it’s no longer called quarantine, but treated as an epidemiologic “traffic light” and is now controlled locally by city. This means, that each mayor/local authorities are now in control as of when each city will change the “traffic light” color for businesses, retail and travel.

 

“Red” color means everything is still closed for public, only food delivery and essential food markets are opened. Martial Law from 2 pm until 5 am is enforced. No public transportation. All boarders are to remain closed, hence airports are closed during this traffic light color (“Red”).

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs is closed so no visas are being issued. “Orange/Yellow” color means businesses will slit workforce with only 50% of its capacity, the rest is to remain teleworking. Martial Law will extend from 6 pm until 5 am.

 

Transportation will renew only with 30% of its capacity. Retail will reopen with 30% of occupancy capacity. “Green” color means workforce will return with 70% capacity known as the new normal way of social distancing. Car circulation will be defined with even or odd with the last number of the registration plates.

 

Martial law will extend from 9 pm until 5 am. Businesses and retail can operate with occupancy capacity of 50%. All borders and airports are to remain closed until further notice. Guayaquil has been set to Yellow, but Quito remains in Red. It is planned (TBC) to reopen airports on June 1st.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? No cases are being managed at this time. All immigration process are on hold.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Immigration status will be set on hold.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? The government has agreed to waive penalties while in state of emergency but we do not know for how long penalties will continue to be waivered after the state of emergency is removed.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information.

 

 

El Salvador

 

2,042 positive cases, 36 deaths. Curfew continues in place. Borders continue closed except for Salvadorian citizens and legal residents. Any person arriving in the country will be passed into 30- day quarantine. All immigration processes continue being processed.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? No cases are being managed at this time. All immigration process are on hold.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? No official information released.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? It is not known for the time being. The government has not yet decided. Due to the exceptional circumstances, It is believed (but not confirmed) that there will be some kind of flexibility and understanding from the government).

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information released.

 

 

Guatemala

 

3,760 positive cases, 59 deaths. 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 with curfew from 16h00 until 4h00. Use of surgical mask is mandatory countrywide while in the streets. Government facilities are open and working attending limited numbers of users. Public transportation has been suspended. No transit is allowed between localities but only food and medicines.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? No.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? There are 3 services that can be processed online:

1) Schedule a passport appointment for nationals, carriers, diplomatic corps and cases previously authorized by the Immigration offices;

2) Consultation of precautionary detention status;

3) Consultation of residence and visa status of processes initiated before March 5th.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? As normal but aligned with social distancing rules.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? Foreign persons are allowed to leave the Republic of Guatemala using the land routes, under their strict responsibility, through the border of the states next to Guatemala who allow it. The foreign persons who entered the country in a regular way for tourism or business purposes can remain in the country while the Public Calamity Decree lasts. The foreign persons who remain in an irregular way before March 5th, need to fix their immigration status by going to the immigration office central building.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? Yes.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? Yes.

 

 

Guyana

 

137 positive cases, 11 deaths. Airports in Guyana still partially closed. Only outgoing, cargo, medevac, technical and any other specially authorized flights are allowed. Schools and Universities remain closed. Non-essential businesses remain closed. Curfew to take place between 10pm and 5am until further notice.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? All immigration processes are suspended.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? No official information released.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? No official information released.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? No official information released.

 

 

Honduras

 

4,189 positive cases, 182 deaths. Borders are closed for foreign visitors. 14-day Mandatory quarantine for residents arriving. All ongoing/incomplete immigration processes of foreigners that were left due to the virus spread are on hold.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? Yes.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? No.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? No cases are being managed at this time. All immigration process are on hold.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? It is not known for the time being. The government has not yet decided. In case a foreigner is checked, the local authorities are showing a relative flexibility and understanding due to the exceptional situation.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? If the permit or visa expires during the immigration office closing period, they are exempt of penalty.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? If the permit or visa expires during the immigration office closing period, they are exempt of penalty.

 

 

Mexico

 

71,105 positive cases, 7,633 deaths. Suspension of all non-essential activities still in place, including a social quarantine applicable nationwide. Some immigration procedures can still be filed.

 

FAQ:

  • Are all the Immigration offices in your country closed? No, they are currently operating at a slower pace and with fewer personnel. They are also restricting the number of people that can enter the Immigration offices at once. The Immigration offices closed from April 6th to April 10th apparently due Holy week. However, as of today (April 13th) they restored its operation.

  • Is there any service online that can still be processed? The Immigration Offices are still updating information on ongoing cases on the official website. However, there are several restrictions on the website to schedule appointments at the Mexican Consulates abroad.

  • How are you managing the renewal cases? The Federal Government released a statement on April 1st in regards to the National Institute of Migration. The document states that all procedures that would have to take place from April 1st - April 30th, 2020 (e.g. renewals) wouldn’t be considered within the legal framework. This means that the expiration dates on the cards would be postponed, since the timeframe wouldn’t be considered as working days.

  • If an applicant Visa cannot be renewed and he cannot travel due to the travel ban, what is the government doing in regards of the immigration status? The Immigration Office is currently open and receiving requests including renewals.

  • Are these applicants going to be penalized in the future? The exception would only be applicable for foreigners that would have to renew their residence card within April 1st - April 30th. Beyond this timeframe, the authority hasn’t mentioned any exception. Therefore, the renewals would have to be filed on time and before the card’s expiration date to avoid any fines.

  • Are the companies going to be penalized if they have employees without the proper status? The exception would only be applicable for foreigners that would have to renew their residence card within April 1st - April 30th. Beyond this timeframe, the authority hasn’t mentioned any exception. If a foreigner doesn’t renew his/her card on time and before the expirati