Covid-19 cases are increasing rapidly in parts of Latin America. Yet, some countries in the region are easing movement restrictions and moderately reopening their economies while others stand firm.
On Tuesday, WHO director for the Americas, Dr. Carissa Etienne, warned about epidemiological curves in the region sharply rising, and urged governments to “not open too fast,” or “risk a resurgence of Covid-19 that could erase the advantage gained over the past few months.”
Here’s a look at some countries that are standing firm on restrictions:
Argentina: Continues on mandatory lockdown until June 7.
Chile: The country’s main cities remain under quarantine. Chile never declared a full quarantine.
Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua have not and are not announcing any easing of restrictions yet.
And here’s how some countries are easing restrictions:
Bolivia: Some districts across the country started a “dynamic quarantine” on Monday, allowing citizens to go out near their homes during specific times for weekdays and weekends. Religious services are also allowed with a maximum 30% capacity. Industries such as agriculture, mining, lumber, and construction can now resume their activities and domestic flights will resume on June 3.
Brazil: Parts of Brazil have begun reopening nonessential businesses and activities, such as churches, car shops, furniture and decoration stores. In the state of São Paulo, shopping malls, commerce, offices and real estate reopened on Monday. However, quarantine in the city of São Paulo — which is inside the state — has been extended until June 15.
In the state of Rio de Janeiro, some restrictions were lifted on Tuesday, allowing people to exercise on the city’s promenade and to swim in the ocean. Salvador, Recife, Fortaleza and Manaus have also lifted some restrictions.
Colombia: A gradual reopening started on Monday for hairdressers, shopping malls, museums, libraries and real estate. Outdoor exercise is also allowed for people over 70 and children over 6 three times a week, 30 minutes per day. Those aged between 18 and 69 can exercise outdoors for two hours every day.
Costa Rica: The country entered phase 2 of reopening procedures on Monday, allowing national parks, museums and restaurants to operate with up to 50% capacity. Hotels can also reopen up to 50% capacity.
Dominican Republic: “Covidianidad” (Covid-19 life), a reopening measure, will start on Wednesday. Churches will be allowed to host services on Sundays, small companies can resume work and big firms can resume activities with 50% of staff. Businesses will be allowed to open in shopping malls and private passenger transport will also be allowed.
Ecuador: Airports in Quito and Guayaquil are resuming local and international flights at only 30% of regular flight frequency. The government has reduced the stay-at-home number of hours ordered, while the use of masks is mandatory. Restaurants can reopen in most cities with 30% maximum capacity. The strict quarantine in Quito will be relaxed starting Wednesday.
Guatemala: The country begins phase 1 of its reopening by allowing people to be outside for a period of 13 hours a day.
Honduras: Companies enter phase 0 of preparation for reopening on June 8.
Mexico: On Monday, some industries in parts of the country, such as mining, construction, auto parts, and tourism were allowed to reopen as part of “new normal” reopening measures.
Panama: On Monday, the country entered phase 2 of the “new normality.” Public construction and mining can resume, and places of worship, sporting and social areas, can reopen with a maximum 25% occupancy.
Paraguay: The country remains in phase 2 until June 11. Civil construction and corporate offices have resumed activities. Cultural and sporting events have resumed without audiences and some shops have also reopened.
Peru: The country enters phase 2 of reopening measures, allowing hairdressers, clothing, shoe and book stores to reopen. Specialty health services, dentists, fertility clinics, veterinary clinics, food delivery, IT companies, electrical services, carpentry, laundry, and repair services, can also reopen.
Uruguay: The country, which began easing restrictions in early May, has been praised for its virus prevention strategy and low number of cases. On Monday, at least 403 schools resumed their activities, in addition to special-ed schools and universities, except in the capital city of Montevideo.
Venezuela: The government announced a “flexibilization” of the restriction measures for five days, followed by a new 10-day quarantine. Municipalities bordering Colombia and Brazil, as well as Maracaibo, San Francisco and Zulia, are not included. During this five-day reopening, banks, doctors’ offices, dentists, the construction sector, blacksmiths and hairdressers, among other businesses, can resume operations during specified times of the day.