While they were announced nearly two weeks ago, many may have forgotten that very strict regulations will be in place across the entirety of Peru over the next four days (April 1-4) during Semana Santa (Easter Week).
The measures include mandatory social immobilization (April 1-4) and restrictions of land and air transportation April 1-3). These measures will be enforced nationwide.
Only public transportation and authorized cabs will be allowed, as well as one person per family allowed to leave to buy food and other essential products. Pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be allowed, but the use of private cars is prohibited.
During these four days, food supply centers (such as markets, supermarkets and warehouses) will be open from 4:00 am to 6:00 pm. The delivery of pharmacies and drugstores will be maintained 24 hours a day. Restaurants may be open from 4:00 am to 11:00 pm only for take out or delivery. Health establishments and the press will operate 24 hours a day, as will essential services such as public and private citizen security, gas, electricity and sanitation.
Domestic air travel and interprovincial passenger transportation by land will be suspended throughout the country between April 1 and 3. International flights will not be affected, but the lack of connecting flights to and from Lima will cause major problems for many.
“More than 70,000 agents from police stations and specialized units of the PNP will be deployed throughout Peru to guarantee security and compliance with sanitary measures during Easter Week,” said Interior Minister Jose Elice Navarro. “Patrolling and operational intelligence will be intensified.”
The general commander of the Peruvian National Police (PNP), General César Cervantes, said that in Lima there will be 5,000 troops dedicated to security work enforcing these regulations.
In the middle of the night, Peru’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication (MTC) announced that the transportation strike that has affected travel along many of Peru’s major and minor roads has come to an end.
A little after 2 a.m. MTC published the following press release:
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications makes public the following:
We welcome the decision of the transportation unions who, for the benefit of the country, have prioritized the interests of Peruvians, by signing the act of agreements with the Government and lifting their measure of force that will allow free transit on the highways.
Within the agreements, the inclusion of diesel in the fuel price stabilization fund was determined. This measure will benefit many economic activities and especially Peruvian families, achieving a direct positive impact on their economy.
The representatives of the transportation guilds that signed the agreement are: The president of the National Guild of Transporters and Drivers of Peru – GNTC Peru, Rolando Gomero Calderón, and his vice president, Iván Valencia Velarde; the president of the National Association of Land Freight Transportation (ANATEC), Bruno Aberasturi Seoane; the president of the Transport and Logistics Guild of Peru & America (GTL), Geovanni Diez; and representatives of UNT Callao, Jorge Souza Ferreyra, Luis Vega Gutiérrez, Henry Montero Allauca and Willy Chanduvi Passapera.
From the Ministry of Transportation and Communications we reaffirm our commitment to look after the interests of the population and the institutional framework in the country, prioritizing respect, constructive dialogue and consensus at all times.
In the last two days national police forces had been actively ending the closure of Peru’s road system. There was no reported violence, though there had been instances of violence between strikers and those who sought to pass through the road closures including assaults and one bus that was completely burned to the frame.
The director of the National Council of Land Transportation, Martin Ojeda, pointed out that the agreement reached between the Government and several unions of this sector “is not at all clear” due to the fact that bus transportation “has not signed the act and does not intend to sign it”; however, he specified that they have agreed to suspend the strike despite not being in agreement.
“We do not agree with this move that is being made and because of the atomization of the truckers’ unions, of which 4 have signed this act, sincerely, with all due respect I say it, very aberrant for the agreements that were being reached. We suspend, but we have not signed the act”, the leader pointed out.
“This is considered a triumph by the government (but) it is a shame that at 11 o’clock at night, when we had already left, one of the members of these truck drivers calls us thinking that they were calling everyone, but they were only calling this group. It is chaos. Unfortunately we do not consider it a transparent attitude, we do not consider it an agreement as it should be, and this will be seen with time”, he added.
In an interview with RPP Noticias, Ojeda pointed out that this suspension implies that this Saturday they will resume the transport service; however, he clarified that “we will continue in permanent assembly to establish with greater tranquility, without depending on the truckers’ unions, a measure of force or continue with the dialogue independently”.
Ojeda explained that the union’s position is due to its rejection of the Selective Consumption Tax (ISC). In this respect, he commented that they are going to propose the return of 80% of the ISC proposed by the Executive, as well as the revision of tolls, in order not to comply with a new stoppage.
Last night the Peruvian government announced extraordinary measures for the coming Easter Week in order to consolidate the downward trend in the curve of contagions and deaths due to COVID-19. The measures include mandatory social immobilization (April 1-4) and restrictions of land and air transportation April 1-3). These measures will be enforced nationwide.
At a late press conference, the President of the Council of Ministers, Violeta Bermúdez, accompanied by the Ministers of Education, Ricardo Cuenca, and Health, Oscar Ugarte, highlighted that at national level the curve of deaths due to the pandemic shows a slight decrease. She also called on the transportation companies to lift the strike they have been maintaining since Monday.
The Minister of Education explained that the measures approved by the Council of Ministers include the general immobilization from Thursday, April 1st to Sunday, April 4th in which the mobility of people and private vehicles will be restricted. Only public transportation and authorized cabs will be allowed, as well as the pedestrian exit of one person per family to buy food and other essential products.
Pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be allowed, but the use of private cars is prohibited. Buses and taxis will still be allowed.
He added that during these four days, food supply centers (such as markets, supermarkets and warehouses) will be open from 4:00 am to 6:00 pm. The delivery of pharmacies and drugstores will be maintained 24 hours a day and restaurants and similar from 4:00 am to 11:00 pm. Health establishments and the press will operate 24 hours a day, as will essential services such as public and private citizen security, gas, electricity and cleaning.
Also, domestic air travel and interprovincial passenger transportation by land will be suspended throughout the country between April 1 and 3. International flights will not be affected, but the lack of connecting flights to and from Lima will cause major problems for many.
“This effort is to give us all a helping hand, a sacrifice to consolidate this curve that is beginning to descend and prepare us to avoid further contagions after a long weekend,” said Cuenca.
Bermudez expressed that in 126 provinces the rate of deaths has slowed down and that in 16 of the 27 provinces at extreme risk, this indicator has also been reduced. She pointed out that the reproduction of contagions (RT) has dropped from 1.01 to 0.99.
Bermudez also affirmed that the Executive maintains the dialogue with the transporters and that a commission integrated by representatives of the Ministries of Transport and Communications, Economy and Finance, Energy and Mines and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, is meeting with the transporters’ unions.
“From the Executive we have made a concrete proposal. There are several points that they have and we are waiting for the final response. We understand the concern about the rise in oil prices. We have proposed them realistic measures that we can address in this context of crisis and pandemic,” he added.
“To the transporters we make an invocation to lift this measure because there are people who take advantage of this situation to commit undue acts. Let’s wait for this measure to be solved”, he added.
She indicated that the strike has, in some cases, resulted in medical oxygen not being transported to the hospitals, since there are some areas that are blocked. She cited the case of Huaycán, on the Central Highway.
When asked about the payment of the orphan’s pension, the head of the PCM indicated that the guardians of the beneficiaries (children and adolescents who have lost one or both parents due to the pandemic) can register on the web pages of Inabif and the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations to access the economic subsidy of S/ 200 per month until they reach 18 years of age.
Bermudez also said that the vaccination process has been extended to senior citizens and that tomorrow immunization will begin for those over 100 years old in the districts of San Juan de Lurigancho and San Martin de Porres, who will be vaccinated at their homes.
She pointed out that at the same time, the vaccination of senior citizens between 80 and 100 years of age in both districts will begin, which will be carried out in the places where they will vote on election day. In San Juan de Lurigancho there are 13,639 people in this age group and in San Martin de Porres, 15,063 people.
She also announced that an application will be enabled in the Ministry of Health’s web page so that family members can register their senior citizens from 80 to 100 years old, indicating their data, ID number, pre-existing diseases and whether they can go to the voting center or not. In the latter case, they can be vaccinated at their homes.
“We want to avoid a repetition of what happened during the end of the year holidays, we want to avoid massive contagions that accelerated a second wave in the country. A quarantine is in force, which we announced today so that everyone can take the necessary precautions”, said Bermudez. “We want to prevent that what happened during the 2020 year-end holidays from happening again. We want to avoid the massive contagions that accelerated a second wave in the country (…). Thus, a quarantine will be in force, which we announce today.”
“The virus reproduction rate, the Rt, went from 1.01 to 0.99 the past week. Last week, we said that standing below 1 would be good news, and we are on that path, but we need to consolidate these small advances,” she concluded.
Yesterday’s announcement of a strike beginning today is growing to include many interprovincial and local passenger transportation associations across Peru — particularly in southern regions.
The National Union of Transporters and Drivers (GNTC) of Peru announced that they will adopt an indefinite national strike of cargo transportation, in order for them to attend to their list of demands. which primarily involve the rise of fuel costs and tolls.
An indefinite stoppage in interprovincial passenger and heavy cargo transportation across Peru has caused serious worried in southern regions of Peru. Worries about supply shortages are growing and no dialogue is planned between the disagreeing parties.
On Sunday in Arequipa the president of the wholesale market of Rio Seco, Cristobal Huayapa, announced that several traders had stopped supplying some products that could be stranded on the roads.
Another fear is about the availability of fuel. Magno Salas, the leader of the cargo transport, pointed out that the fuel suppliers were warned beforehand, so that they could stock up. Reserves are already running out and businessman Freddy Chavez, believes that within seven days the shortage in taps will be noticed.
In Cusco, Rimber Yabarrena, representative of the transport union, called on the population to understand their measures of force and prevent a possible shortage of products. “When fuel goes up, things go up. We want to warn housewives to stock up, in view of the fact that there will be shortage of products due to lack of transportation.”
Transportation and cargo companies are complaining about the steady increases in the price of fuel. They claim that since January they have presented their demands to the central government without a resolution. Yesterday, the transporters discussed a possible intermediation of the Congressional Transportation Commission with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC), but it did not come to fruition. They distrust the MTC, as they say that the meetings held in recent months have been fruitless.
The representative of the Arequipa company Transportes del Carpio, Mario Lobón, says that that the involvement of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM) is also necessary to have a concrete answer. The interprovincial transporters’ demands include the return of 100% of the Selective Consumption Tax (ISC) levied on fuel.
Rimber Yabarrena also criticized the government’s delay in meeting their demands. “During the pandemic as truckers we have not stopped. We have put our shoulders to the wheel to prevent the markets from being supplied, but the government rewards us with increases in gasoline and tolls”.
In Cusco, the interprovincial and urban passenger service also joined the truckers’ stoppage.
In Puno, the companies that provide transportation services with minivan units (combis/colectivos) raised the price of fares to other southern regions, such as Arequipa, Cusco, Moquegua and Tacna. The price of the ticket is now around 50 soles an increase of about 10 soles over two weeks. Before the pandemic, going to any of the four regions by minivan was as low as 25 soles.
“We are considering the possibility of joining this strike because all the units consume fuel and it affects us all,” said Rogelio Coha, from the company Turismo Puno, which operates with minivans. These vehicles operate without a firm legal framework. The interprovincial bus companies qualify them as unfair competition.
In Puno, 15 interprovincial bus companies will be paralyzed. Most of them agreed to close the roads. Today they will meet with other unions in the sector so that they also join the strike.
Cab drivers in Arequipa did not rule out taking any action in support of the strike. The president of the Chamber of Taxi Companies and Associations of Arequipa (Creat), Isidro Flores, pointed out that his union is also suffering the impact of the increase in fuel prices. Today they will decide how to support the measure.
In the case of urban transport, the representative of Consorcio Aqp Masivo, Fredy Chávez, said that they also analyzed how to support the measure, since the fuel increase affects their profit margin. However, they would be unable to stop, since they have a concession contract with the Integrated Transport System (Sitransporte) and would be penalized.
This morning, the MTC issued a press release reiterating its commitment to “continue dialoguing, as it has been doing for quite some time, to find consensus to the demands and concerns presented by the transporters.”
Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@ExploreCusco) for updates.
After evaluating the changes of the pandemic originated by Covid-19, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) has established new provisions related to international and domestic air transportation.
Flights from countries whose travel time is longer than eight hours will be resumed. However, flights from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil will continue to be suspended. This restriction will be in force from March 15 to 31.
Flights departing from Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Paris will be resumed; however, non-resident foreigners coming from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil or those who have made a stopover in those countries in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter the country.
Passengers arriving in Peru must still present a negative molecular test for Covid-19, the result of which has been issued up to 72 hours before the flight, and must comply with a mandatory 14-day quarantine, which may be lifted if they have a negative result of an antigen test for COVID-19, which may be performed upon arrival in the country.
In addition, they must complete the Health Affidavit and Geolocation Authorization online. The document includes the traveler’s data, which will allow health authorities to locate him/her in case it is detected that he/she has traveled close to a person with Covid-19.
Also as part of the new provisions, a Covid-19 molecular or antigen test was eliminated for domestic air travel within the country. It will no longer be necessary to show this medical test before boarding a domestic flight.
This action is also effective as of March 15 according to Ministerial Resolution No. 217-2021-MTC/01.