It will be 14 days and the decree that will restrict the movement of people between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. is being drafted and it is practically certain that it will be published on Friday, January 8. The intention of President Alberto Fernández, agreed with all the governors, is that “the night sanitary closure” reduces the contagion of covid-19 that is occurring and increasing in recent weeks. The decree will also include limitations on the use of public transport for non-essentials. The agreement with the governors includes the possibility that if a reduction in infections is not achieved in this period, which yesterday recorded 13,441 new infections and 191 deaths, the President will advance with more harsh measures.
Fernández agreed to these new measures that, in some way, already represent a hardening of the social distancing conditions that have been in force since last December. He did so during an extensive remote meeting where the 24 governors of the country participated. Although the nighttime restriction extends to the entire Argentine territory, the President accepted the request of the Buenos Aires governor, Axel Kicillof, Rodolfo Suárez from Mendoza and the vice-governor of Tierra del Fuego, Mónica Urquiza, not to apply these nighttime measures in those cities where no there were dangerous increases or new infections of coronavirus.
In addition to the prohibition of driving after 11 p.m., the almost certain reduction in flights abroad will be added, but also the mandatory nature of PCR tests both for passengers on international flights as well as those on domestic or domestic flights, especially to those that come from provinces where there is a greater number of covid-19 cases.
One of the problems detected is the proliferation of meetings that, although they are held outdoors, have a large number of participants. That is why the number of people who can be in a meeting will be limited to 10. On the other hand, the use of public transport will once again be restricted to essential workers.
The meeting with the governors was preceded by the meeting held on Tuesday by the health ministers of all the provinces. During that meeting they highlighted “a significant lack of compliance with preventive measures to mitigate the transmission of the virus that can lead to the advancement of a second wave.”
Thus, the measures agreed between the President and the provincial leaders seek to prevent the health system from becoming complicated by the growth of infections. However, the fact that they do not harden more is because all the participants considered it “essential” not to stop economic activity in general and that of tourist places in particular.
The President held the remote meeting from his offices in the Olivos Residence where the governors were speaking and “supporting the presidential proposal,” according to Fernández’s collaborators. Although a decree will be issued, they all agreed to continue working to adapt the measures to the needs and conditions of each province, which must be agreed with the Chief of Staff and the Ministries of Interior and Health.
During the meeting, the president was accompanied by the Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero; the Minister of the Interior, Eduardo de Pedro, the Secretary for Access to Health, Carla Vizzotti, the Secretary General of the Presidency, Julio Vitobello and the Secretary of Communication, Juan Pablo Biondi.
During the talk, Santa Fe Omar Perotti acknowledged that the night time restriction being applied in his province “is what gave us the best result when Rosario and the city of Santa Fe got complicated,” he said. The governor acknowledged that there are localities where it was necessary to go back to more restrictive phases.
Meanwhile, the governor of Río Negro, Arabela Carreras, agreed to point out the benefits of the night shutdown but asked that it be “a national policy” so that there are no provinces that do not apply it and economically harm what they do. The president also recognized that the closure of international borders is convenient despite the fact that her province benefits from foreign tourism.
Despite being going through the first days of the contagion of covid-19, the porteño Horacio Rodríguez Larreta was during the Zoom with the President and coincided with the President by stating that the infections are growing as a result of the massive presence of young people in night meetings. The Buenos Aires head of government said that it is necessary to limit “nightlife” and proposed limiting meeting places, especially clubs, restaurants, breweries and public spaces. For his part, the governor of Jujuy, Gerardo Morales, also supported the decision to reduce “night time” and considered it necessary to reduce the number of people for meetings to 10.
Kicillof highlighted his agreement with Fernández’s proposal to carry out stronger dissemination campaigns but also demanded that some type of fine be applied to those who violate the night restriction. The Buenos Aires native raised this possibility because, he affirmed, that during the meeting he held with the 135 mayors that the province has, it was seen how the wave of infections is growing and that will affect the health system sooner rather than later. In this line, Sergio Ziliotto, from Pampas, expressed himself, who after describing the measures that he is applying in his province, requested the presence of national security forces to help in the dissolution but also considered as possible the seizure of vehicles that circulate without permission in the schedule night restriction.
For now, these new measures that will be in force for 14 days will coexist with the Social, Preventive and Mandatory Distancing (Dispo) that ends at the end of January.