As I noted two days on Twitter (@ExploreCusco), Peru’s Prime Minister Violeta Bermúdez said that new announcements would be coming likely today. Despite the government’s announcement a week ago that measures would be evaluated every three weeks, a press conference was held this afternoon by the Council of Ministers with some changes in the current measures.
Bermúdez opened by noting that “to date, 2,243,590 vaccines against COVID-19 have arrived…At the close of 2020, informality reached 75.3%…This weekend we are counting 41 vaccination centers.”
“General quarantines, strict quarantines, and their consequent closure of economic activities have had a major impact on the loss of employment that fell abysmally in the second half of 2020, leading to poverty for thousands of people and their families, which also led them to seek work in unsuitable conditions,” she said.
“We will promote open spaces as an alternative to economic life,” she continued, “but also to cultural and social life…We will continue with curfews and restrictions on weekends to reduce contagions…We require deep citizen commitment and enterprising micro-entrepreneurs who we know are doing their best to efficiently implement protocols…Masks will be considered a public good…We are at a stage where coexistence with viruses drives us to resume social pacts.”
Minister of Education Ricardo Cuenca then said “We have to try to normalize measures that will be with us for a very long time…There are no major capacity restrictions on restaurants and related that has to do with use of open spaces…Curfews are maintained because it generates less mobility among families and friends because they are being a focus of contagion…I call attention to the use of face protection, which is only useful if we have a mask.”
Cuenca continued by noting that “When we say extreme risk we mean that there is little chance of being attended…Enclosed space activities at extreme level are club activities in enclosed space with a capacity of 30%, temples at 20’%, casinos and gyms at 30%…Curfews are still in place from 9 pm to 4 am.”
This appears to be a surprising relaxation of the current rules for churches, gyms, and casinos in provinces of Extreme Risk Level designation where there are currently no allowances at all. They will go into effect on Monday, April 26.
Bermúdez then announced that, for Mother’s Day, “Sunday, May 9, to be a day of mandatory social immobilization throughout the territory.”
The government is going to focus on moving activities outside. “The virus is emitted by aerosols, said Bermúdez. “If we are in an open or ventilated space, the risk is minimal. The important thing is that they are spaces that are enabled so that there are no agglomerations…We will promote open spaces, in closed spaces differentiated capacities will be maintained.”
Yesterday the Peruvian Medical Association (CMP) recommended that the government should be stricter in enforcing the capacity limits established in commercial conglomerates, markets and public transportation units. Bermúdez announced that “adjustments” will be made to the measures adopted within the framework of the state of emergency.
Bermúdez explained that these measures are aimed at limiting mobility and reducing contagions. She added that they will insist on promoting the reduction of family and friends gatherings, which have been shown “to have been and to be spaces of contagion, since we see many family groups that are admitted to hospitalization.”
“It is possible to agree on preventive measures that are in line with public health and family economy,” said Bermúdez. “The government is working responsibly to achieve this objective, but we need a deep commitment from the citizens and from all the entrepreneurs and businessmen who are doing their best to implement protocols.”
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