The government affirms that 90% of Uruguayans complied with the request for « responsible freedom » when the pandemic generated by the coronavirus began in Uruguay. And the authorities plan to go along the same lines in the face of the summer season: exhortation, protocols and « common sense. » The guide for a safe summer is ready and will be released in the coming days, as a campaign to raise awareness.
« In summer. There we do have concern, ”President Luis Lacalle Pou said at a press conference last week during his tour of the inauguration of mayors and mayors. The discussion of hardening the measures is the order of the day, but at the moment the Executive Power has not departed from the line indicated since March. Exhorting, generating protocols –that number over a thousand– is what is available at the moment, in order to organize people.
Despite the increase in infections, the Public Health Ministry refuses to announce strict quarantine measures. « A mandatory confinement is not being planned, what is being accentuated are border policies, » said the general director of Health, Miguel Asqueta, at a press conference reported by National Television on Friday 27.
Among the possibilities handled by the Executive Power is the entry into the country of Uruguayans residing abroad through a prior electronic agenda, as reported by the weekly Busca. The system is in the process of being designed with the aim of generating a portal to distribute the exceptions established in an original decree of March that limited revenues to the country. According to Lacalle Pou, the record will include the name of the person, document and justification. It will also allow you to have a number of income in real time.
The current decree to enter the country during the pandemic will not be modified because it already has nine exceptions, confirmed Lacalle Pou. In any case, the president said that « clear rules » must be given to Customs personnel.
The mayor of Maldonado, Enrique Antía, transmitted to the president a project to allow entry to foreigners who have properties in Uruguay and who do not have a residence. According to him, he promotes it to have « respect for the owner » who invested in the department. Lacalle Pou replied that he will communicate with the hierarch, but highlighted the current regulations. « There is a decision made by the government, we have to take care of ourselves, » he said. Antía claimed that « the government invites investment, invites settlement, but on the other hand those who have already invested cannot come. »
The risk in the season
Facing the summer, the government’s concern is mainly on the coast, with special attention to tourist places, where population density and mobility will grow.
Maldonado, Canelones and Montevideo are the most mobile departments, but the guide for the summer will be extended to the entire country, with a campaign that will be launched to raise awareness about the speed of spread of the coronavirus if the corresponding precautions are not taken.
The government contacted the municipalities to implement « brigades » to control compliance with the measures on the beaches, another challenge in the season that was analyzed for several weeks by the Honorary Scientific Advisory Group (GACH). As much as the beaches are an outdoor space, the risk is there. Up to two families the propagation is at low rates but mate, bottles or other elements should not be shared.
«The moments of risk are two or three. When people interact in the paradores, in the lifeguard box, when group sports games are played, with people from multiple origins. There is a gradient on the beach, the low risk can become moderate if you interact too much. The important thing is to see how much is the degree of human interaction, for how long ”, explained the infectologist Julio Medina, in dialogue with Radio Carve.
The Prefecture will mark a presence on the beaches and one of the possible options is that they have megaphones to ask tourists to respect the recommended distance. Sources from the Defense Ministry confirmed to El Observador that there will be no call for personnel because it is not planned at the budget level.
The guide with aspects to take into account that will be disseminated by the Communication Secretariat of the Presidency in the coming days has several recommendations. The main one has to do with going down to the beach in small groups and, preferably, that it is the close circle of people with whom you do other tasks or live together. If the group is large, it is recommended to divide it up and go at different times.
From the Executive Power they have reiterated that there will not be a controller « in each umbrella », so they ask for « solidarity ». If you perceive an agglomeration of people, appeal to « common sense » and leave; if many people arrive, as far as possible withdraw to make room. There will be informational posters.
In order to keep an order, the umbrellas should be at a distance of between five and seven meters from each other, according to El País. For his part, the Secretary of the Presidency Álvaro Delgado anticipated on Channel 12 the recommendation to « try » to leave 10 meters of distance between the water and the first umbrella to facilitate circulation.
More crawls and speed
Authorities are seeking to increase traceability and speed of diagnosis. And that is why an agreement will be finalized with the Ministry of Defense and with the Faculty of Medicine to duplicate the tracking. Today there are 114 people engaged in this task, a number that – at the moment – is sufficient, sources from the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) assured El Observador.
The government seeks to extend the scope of the LAMP tests, which yield the result in 45 minutes and are currently applied to truckers and carriers entering across the borders. A pilot test was also launched in Tacuarembó for surgical patients.
The border points are the ones that have priority. People who enter are not exempted from the seven-day quarantine, beyond having a negative covid-19 test.
Summer Plan from this Tuesday.
From this December 1, the stimulus measures for domestic tourism that were announced at the end of October come into effect. Personal Income Tax (IRPF) will be exempted for season rentals, there will be a zero VAT rate for hotels and the hiring of personnel will be encouraged. They will be in force until the last Sunday of Tourism Week, April 4, 2021.