President Martin Vizcarra announced on Friday, May 22, that the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) state of emergency has been extended until Tuesday, June 30. However, several restrictions have been relaxed to support some of the country's struggling economic sectors. Services such as hair salons, non-essential shops, and dental surgeries will be allowed to reopen, provided appropriate social-distancing measures are in place. Restrictions on professional sporting events, including football, have also been lifted, although matches will be played behind closed doors without spectators.
The easing of some measures is the first stage in a four-phase plan announced by the government to reopen Peru's economy. Each phase will be rolled out monthly, with the second in June, third in July, and the last in August. The partial lifting of restrictions on the mining, construction, commerce, and tourism sectors is also expected during the first stage of the plan.
An overnight curfew remains in place from 20:00 to 04:00 (local time) in Lima and most of Peru. A separate curfew is in effect in the Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, and Loreto regions from 16:00 to 04:00. Only one household member is permitted to leave their home for essential goods and services, urgent issues, and business between Monday and Saturday, with people expected to remain in their homes on Sundays. Individuals are banned from visiting public places such as parks, beaches, gyms, and bars. Face-to-face classes in schools have been suspended indefinitely and large gatherings remain prohibited. Individuals are also advised to wear face masks when outdoors.
As of Friday, May 22, health authorities have confirmed 111,698 cases of COVID-19 in Peru, including 3,244 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is 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). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
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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