Bogotá ends Pico y cédula restriction on Friday

The coronavirus restriction that limited access to commercial establishments, including supermarkets, based on the last digit (even and odd) of identity card numbers – Pico y cédula – ends in Bogotá on Friday, February 19.

Decree 208 comes as ICU occupation has lowered in city hospitals, and new cases of infection continue to decelerate. The measure, introduced in June last year, replaced the gender-based restriction Pico y género and was the longest-running district initiative to limit the number of people on the street at the same time the capital enforced rotating lockdowns and night curfews.

Mayor Claudia López hinted during an interview Wednesday on Blu Radio that she “hoped the measure would end Friday,” given that ICUs allocated for coronavirus patients are at 63.7% or 1,125 beds from a total 1,766.

Mayor Claudia López’s remarks came a day before the district begins inoculating healthcare professionals with the first doses of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine. Another shipment of 192,000 doses from China’s Sinovac laboratory will arrive in the capital on Friday. Wednesday also broke medical high ground with the first Colombian to be inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine. The candidate chosen for the launch the National Vaccination Program was Verónica Machado, a head ICU nurse at the University Hospital of Sincelejo, Sucre.

The lifting of Pico y cédula could come with new measures to avoid the prospect of a “third wave” of contagion before the Easter holidays. The use of face masks will continue to be obligatory after other protective measures in all buildings, including electronic temperature scans and shoe disinfection, have proven to be non-effective.