An unprecedented situation requires unprecedented action. For the first time in history, Argentines must make mandatory quarantine.
Mandatory quarantine . President Alberto Fernández decided to take extreme measures to address the crisis in the country and the world, something that is happening for the first time in Argentina's history . Never before, in democracy, has measures of this magnitude been implemented, which respond to an unprecedented situation: a pandemic that is advancing at speeds never before seen .
In order to try to contain the advance of viruses, and that the health system does not collapse, the president issued a decree of necessity and urgency that provided “ social, preventive and compulsory isolation ” — in principle — from midnight March 20 to March 31 inclusive. It can only be left to perform strictly necessary activities, such as the provision of food and medicine.
Nearby businesses — such as supermarkets, warehouses, pharmacies and hardware stores — remain open, but security forces control people who circulate on the street and corroborate the reasons. Whoever breaks the quarantine and goes out on the street for no valid reason will be subject to sanctions.
However, some activities and services are exempted from the forty because they are considered essential for ensuring the supply of food, medicines and fuels, and the functioning of health and safety systems.
In this regard, article 6 of the Decree establishing compulsory quarantine stipulates that the movement of “persons concerned to activities and services declared essential” shall be “limited to the strict implementation of these activities and services”.
Who are the people reached by this exception to quarantine?
- Health personnel, security forces, armed forces, migratory activity, national meteorological service, firefighters and air traffic control.
- Higher authorities of the national, provincial, municipal and Autonomous City of Buenos Aires governments, workers in the national, provincial, municipal and Autonomous City of Buenos Aires public sector who are called to ensure essential activities required by the respective authorities.
- Staff of the justice services on duty, as established by the competent authorities.
- Foreign diplomatic and consular personnel accredited to the Argentine Government, within the framework of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and the staff of international bodies accredited to the Argentine Government, the Red Cross and White Helmets.
- Persons who need to assist others with disabilities, family members in need of assistance, older persons, boys, girls and adolescents.
- People who must attend to a situation of force majeure.
- Persons affected to the performance of funeral services, burials and cremations. In this framework, activities involving gathering persons are not permitted.
- People affected to the care of school canteens, community and picnic areas.
- Staff working in audiovisual, radio and graphic communication services.
- Staff affected by public works.
- Wholesale and retail supermarkets, and nearby retailers. Pharmacies. Hardware stores. Veterinarians. Provision of carafas.
- Food industries, their production chain and supplies; personal hygiene and cleaning; medical equipment, medicines, vaccines and other health supplies.
- Activities related to agricultural and fishery production, distribution and marketing.
- Telecommunications activities, fixed and mobile internet and digital services.
- Impostponed activities linked to foreign trade.
- Collection, transport and treatment of urban, hazardous and pathogenic solid waste.
- Maintenance of basic services (water, electricity, gas, communications, etc.) and emergency care.
- Public passenger transport, transport of goods, petroleum, fuels and LPG.
- Delivery of food, medicines, hygiene products, cleaning products and other necessities at home.
- Laundry services.
- Postal and parcel distribution services.
- Essential surveillance, cleaning and guard services.
- Minimum guards to ensure the operation and maintenance of Oil and Gas deposits, oil and gas treatment and/or refining plants, transportation and distribution of electricity, liquid fuels, oil and gas, fuel vending stations and electric power generators.
- Casa de Moneda, ATM services, flow and all those activities that the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic has essential to ensure the operation of the payment system.