At least three regional governments in Argentina do not plan to immediately adhere to Casa Rosada’s planned easing of restrictions on coronaviruses, particularly those on the use of face masks outdoors, with several others considering similar action .
Officials from the provinces of Cordoba and Salta, as well as the government of the city of Buenos Aires, have said in recent days that they do not support a measure to remove the requirement for citizens to cover their faces on their own. outside, believing that it is too early. A number of others – including the provinces of RÃo Negro, Jujuy and Mendoza – are also considering whether or not to follow.
The Argentine government on Wednesday announced a dramatic easing of Covid restrictions starting next month, after a continued decline in confirmed cases and Covid-related deaths. Highlighting the extent of the improvement since the virus cases peaked in April, health ministry officials said 12 provinces across the country and the city of Buenos Aires had not reported any Covid-related deaths in the past. 24 hours previous.
On Wednesday, the city of Buenos Aires is the latest in a series of regional governments to express unease over an easing of Covid restrictions, which some members of the opposition say is a response to regain favor with voters ahead the mid-term elections in November.
Speaking on Wednesday, the city’s Minister of Health, FernÃ¡n QuirÃ³s, said that “now is not the time” for porteÃ±os stop wearing masks.
“We believe that it is not yet the time to remove the chinstrap,” said the official of the government of the city of Buenos Aires headed by mayor Horacio RodrÃguez Larreta.
âWe know that in open spaces the contagiousness is much lower, but in the city we intend to reach 70 percent of the population with two doses of [Covid-19] vaccine before taking this type of measure, âQuirÃ³s said in an interview with local station Radio Con Vos.
“We will see day after day and week after week in these next 10 days in which we hope to pass this stage [to reach 70 percent vaccination]. From there, we will offer the public what we recommend and what is the best way to take care of us, âsaid QuirÃ³s. “What we are saying is that for now we are continuing with the face mask a bit more – we are very close to reaching the milestone.”
The minister also warned that any initiative to make the use of the face mask more flexible should not be accompanied by a lack of broader care.
“We have a threat in front of us, which is the Delta variant, which should multiply the cases,” he warned, stressing that the openings should be staggered.
On Friday, however, QuirÃ³s said the rules on face masks could change “in the first days of October”.
The Minister of Health of the province of Salta, Juan JosÃ© Esteban, said this week that “the measures are too early”, denouncing the lack of prior consultation of national officials.
In the province of Cordoba, local authorities announced on Wednesday that “the compulsory use of face masks” would remain in place.
According to information released on Friday, a number of other regional governments – including RÃo Negro, Jujuy and Mendoza – are waiting to see what changes the government makes to the original decree introducing the rules before deciding what to do next.
Speaking at a press conference, Health Minister Carla Vizzotti and new chief of staff Juan Manzur said midweek that Argentina would ease pandemic restrictions for arriving visitors, approve a gradual reopening of borders, allow most business and social activities to operate without capacity limits, and abandon the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors or while walking on the street.
Another headline to remember, the country’s football clubs will also be able to reopen the doors of their stadiums to supporters, with a capacity of up to 50%.
However, all restrictions will apply to those who have completed their immunization program while in confined spaces.
Health Minister Carla Vizzotti said the changes would allow more activity in closed places, a move the government says will boost economic activity.
âWe are in a very positive time – we know the pandemic is not over, we need to maintain care,â she said. “We are heading towards a full resumption of activities.”
The minister said that the use of face masks when driving outside will cease to be compulsory as of October 1, while they will still be used in public transport, in cinemas, theaters and places of entertainment, workplaces and at large outdoor events or when there is a congregation of people.
“We are going to lift the compulsory use of the mask outside, [when] circulating and not within groups, âsaid Vizzotti, who was joined by the new chief of staff Juan Manzur.
Under the new rules, the government will allow all economic, industrial, commercial, religious, cultural, recreational and sporting activities in closed places to return to full capacity, provided they ensure preventive measures such as social distancing , the use of face masks and better ventilation. All outdoor events involving more than 1,000 people can operate at 50% capacity.
From October, social gatherings will be allowed with no limit on the number of people while nightclubs, discos and places of entertainment will be allowed to return for people fully vaccinated at 50% of their capacity.
Vizzotti also confirmed that from October, citizens of neighboring countries will be allowed to enter Argentina without undertaking a quarantine period (again if they are vaccinated), with the country’s land borders to reopen on a phased basis. . On November 1, the same rules will be extended to all fully vaccinated foreigners, according to new government rules.
Those who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed to enter the country, but they will be required to undergo a quarantine period of at least seven days.
Manzur, who was only sworn in on Monday, said recent data on infections and deaths were “very promising” and things should “continue in that direction”.
âMaybe we are going through the last stage of the pandemic,â he expressed with hope.
Since March 2020, Argentina has recorded some 5.2 million cases of Covid-19, with more than 114,000 deaths.
The government is preparing a series of announcements in the coming weeks aimed at stimulating economic activity and putting more money in the pockets of citizens.
According to reports from the Noticias Argentinas news agency, President Alberto FernÃ¡ndez and Economy Minister MartÃn GuzmÃ¡n have decided on a strategy of “good news every day” – essentially that the announcements will be distributed drip in the public sphere as the month of November approaches. 14 midterm elections.
Plans are currently under discussion to unveil new economic measures, progress in talks with the International Monetary Fund, and milestones outlined in Budget 2022.
Sources within the Economy Ministry said steps will be taken to increase purchasing power and consumption with key strategies, such as approving the reopening of public works projects.
Announcements aimed at retirees and other measures are also on the program.
– SCHEDULES / NA / PERFIL