Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-19
Argentina – Mandatory Quarantine Imposed Due to COVID-1
In a news conference on 20 March, the Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced several strict measures that will directly impact the extent to which people may freely move about in Argentina. The country is essentially in a “lock down” situation until 31 March, at least.
As of 20 March, Argentine authorities announced the mandatory “lock down”, essentially a quarantine, for the entire country until 31 March, except for health professionals, supermarkets and pantries, and pharmacies, with some other exceptions.1
This new measures aim to protect the Argentine population and control and prevent the further spread of COVID-19. (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-058 (13 March 2020).)
WHY THIS MATTERS
These new restrictions will have considerable impact on Argentina’s economy and society.
If they haven’t done so already, the changes will require employers to re-consider their personnel and work arrangements due to the new situation.
Investigations and penalties may result from non-compliance with the new rules.
Any individuals impacted by the new rules may wish to consult with their global mobility advisers and immigration legal counsel as soon as possible for advice on next steps.
The rapid worldwide spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) has motivated the Argentine government to take drastic measures aimed at controlling the virus in Argentina and preventing its spread in the country.
20 March: New Measures
In a news conference on 20 March, the Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced2 the following measures that will directly impact the extent to which people may freely move about in Argentina:
1. Cultural, recreational, sporting, religious, or any other type of event that involves the attendance of people may not be held;
2. The opening of stores, shopping centers, wholesale and retail establishments, and any other place that requires or gives rise to the presence of people is suspended;
3. People affected by the activities and services declared essential in the emergency are exempt from complying with the social, preventive, and compulsory isolation and the prohibition on movement:
- Health personnel, security forces, armed forces, migratory activity, national meteorological service, firefighters, and air traffic control.
- Personnel of the judicial services or with judicial duties, as established by the competent authorities.
- Higher authorities of the national, provincial, and municipal governments, and personnel of the public sector summoned to provide essential activities required by the respective authorities.
- Personnel working in audiovisual, radio, and graphic communication services.
- Activities related to the production, distribution, and commercialization of agriculture and fishing.
- Telecommunications, fixed and mobile internet, and digital services activities.
- Collection, transport, and treatment of urban solid waste.
- Maintenance of basic services (water, electricity, gas, communications) and emergency care.
- Home delivery of foods, medicines, hygiene products, cleaning products, and other supplies of need.
- Essential surveillance, cleaning, and guard services.
- Minimum number of security guards and personnel to help ensure the operation and maintenance of oil and gas fields, oil and gas treatment and / or refining plants, transport and distribution of electrical energy, liquid fuels, oil and gas, fuel dispensing stations, and electric power generators.
- ATM services and all essential activities that the Central Bank of Argentina determines help guarantee the operation of the country’s system of payments.
New measures will be forthcoming shortly that provide emergency supplemental support to Argentineans during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unemployment benefits for certain employers and self-employed individuals concerning the payment of benefits.
Measures soon to be introduced will provide significant relief to businesses that may be struggling with the expenses associated with coronavirus-related challenges.
The KPMG International member firm in Argentina is tracking these matters closely. We will endeavor to keep readers of GMS Flash Alert posted on any important developments as and when they occur.
1 For news of the speech and other actions and activities of President Alberto Fernández, you may refer to his Twitter account.
Alternatively, see press coverage: “Comenzó la cuarentena anunciada por Alberto Fernández y se extenderá hasta el 31 de marzo inclusive,” on InfoBAE (online) 24 de marzo de 2020. (Note that this is a 3rd party (non-governmental, non-KPMG) website. Providing this link does not represent an endorsement of this website by KPMG.)
Also, see the announcement of the new self-isolation/quarantine policy, on the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud) webpage (in Spanish).
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services or legal services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Argentina.
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