President Iván Duque signed Decree 457 on Monday with detailed instructions for the compliance of Mandatory Preventive Isolation which will last 19 days across Colombia, starting 12:00 am on March 25 until 12:00 am April 13.
The seven-article decree approved by the 18 ministers of the cabinet orders “quarantine for all inhabitants of the Republic of Colombia,” given the accelerating rate of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Decree 457 “totally limits the free movement of people and vehicles in the national territory,” with 34 exceptions “to guarantee the right to life, health and survival of the country’s inhabitants.”
Exceptions include movement for the assistance and provision of health services; acquisition of basic necessities: food, beverages, medicine; travel to banking and notary entities; assistance for child care, adolescents, people over age 70; people with disabilities and patients with special treatments that require assistance from trained personnel.
The decree also allows the free movement of the medical missions of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), as well as international health organizations and “activities related to emergency services, including veterinary services.”
To guarantee food production, storage and supplies, the decree allows for the transportation and distribution of medicines, pharmaceuticals, supplies, cleaning products, disinfection, and personal hygiene products for homes and hospitals.
Only public officials and state contractors working to attend the COVID-19 health emergency will be able to move throughout the territory.
All state security forces – Military and National Police – are exempt for the decree.
Persons who violate the decree are subject to fines, prosecution, and a four-year prison sentence.
All domestic commercial air transport is suspended. Air cargo is allowed to deliver humanitarian aid.
The consumption of alcohol in public spaces and all commercial establishments is banned.
The decree comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the country reached 277. Bogotá is the most affected city with 114 infected persons.