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07 Sep 2020 | 11:02 AM UTC

Chile: Authorities ban small gatherings in towns under lockdown ahead of national holidays on September 18-20 /update 29

Chile News Alert

Authorities ban small gatherings in towns under strict lockdown ahead of national holidays on September 18-20; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/7/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/7/2020, 11:59 PM (America/Santiago). COUNTRY/REGION Chile

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Authorities have banned small gatherings in towns under strict lockdown ahead of national holidays taking place between September 18 and September 20, due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. According to the announcement made on Sunday, September 6, towns under phase one (the most strict lockdown phase) will not be allowed to hold small gatherings during the national holidays, contrary to a previous announcement last week indicating that these would be allowed throughout the country. The decision comes after severe criticism was received from local government representatives of towns with high rates of infection and under strict lockdown orders, as they did not agree that restrictions should be relaxed over the national holiday period.

The Chilean government is utilizing a five-phased reopening plan, with different levels of restrictions in place depending on the phase a region or community is at, with the government tightening or easing restrictions based on the number of COVID-19 cases. A list of communes and their level of restrictions can be found here.

Chilean authorities also extended a nationwide state of catastrophe until September 25 amid fears of an increase in COVID-19 cases over the September 18 Independence Day holiday. The associated 23:00 to 05:00 (local time) curfew will also remain in place. It is mandatory to wear face masks on public transportation.

The Chilean government has also extended the closure of all land, sea, and air borders until September 12. The restrictions do not apply to Chilean nationals, and citizens and permanent residents are still permitted to enter the country, although they will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The closure does not apply to freight operations and associated personnel.

As of Monday, September 7, there have been 422,510 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chile with 11,592 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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