- The measure, which is extendable, affects even Uruguayans abroad unless they have a return ticket purchased before the 16th of December.
- At the same time, the country will strengthen land borders with Brazil and Argentina by sending 500 military personnel from the Army and Navy to 25 checkpoints.
- Uruguay’s lockdown measures played a very crucial role, in as far as putting the virus at bay is concerned, during the first months of the pandemic.
Uruguay will close its land, sea, river, and air borders completely for the next 20 days and send troops to its borders with Brazil and Argentina in bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The move is effective from Monday, and will last at least until January 10. The aim is of preventing contagion during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
The measure, which is extendable, affects even Uruguayans abroad unless they have a return ticket purchased before the 16th of December.
At the same time, the country will strengthen land borders with Brazil and Argentina by sending 500 military personnel from the Army and Navy to 25 checkpoints.
Only cargo transport and humanitarian aid will be allowed to cross the country. The country’s defense minister, Javier Garcia, said:
“We are going to be very strict with compliance with the law, so both at the 25 checkpoints around the perimeter of the country and in terms of what it means the bridges are going to be closed and at the same time we remember that private flights and all means of land and sea transport are prohibited.”
The border between Uruguay and Argentina is divided by the Uruguay and the Prata rivers, making migration control easy to manage.
The country’s biggest concern is the dry border with Brazil, where the virus enters more easily from so-called binational cities. Of the six binational cities, the ones of greatest concern are those in which it is enough to cross the street to cross the border: Chuy (Uruguay), Chuí (Brazil), Rivera (Uruguay) and Santana do Livramento (Brazil).
In these binational cities with Brazil, Uruguayan control will be even stricter, theDefense Minister warned. The objective is to block contact with the outside during the holidays. Social distance and the use of a mask, in addition to other preventive measures, are now mandatory.
There may be surveillance to detect meetings between relatives and friends with more than ten people, which is also prohibited. Disobedience will be fined between €750 and €25,000.
Until now, mobility in Uruguay was total. Only parties without a protocol and people over 65 were not allowed. The use of masks was not mandatory on the streets, only on public transport and at work.
Uruguay’s lockdown measures played a very crucial role, in as far as putting the virus at bay is concerned, during the first months of the pandemic. “The second wave to hit the world is our first wave,” President Luis Lacalle Pou is on record saying.
“We cannot compromise what has been achieved so far,” said Rafael Radi, coordinator of the nation’s COVID-19 advisory group. He said the hardest-hit areas are the capital Montevideo and surrounding areas.
With 3.45 million inhabitants, half of which are concentrated in Montevideo, the total number of infected people is 13,048, almost triple a month ago. Deaths total of 119 people.