El Salvador: New Summary of Measures and Executive Decree Number 32

Written by:

Alvin Delgado

Francisco Mendoza


Sanitary Protocols to Guarantee Population´s Health and Life rights, in the process of gradual reactivation of the economy during the COVID-19 Pandemic, applicable in the Western, Central and Eastern areas of the Republic of El Salvador.


  1.  EXECUTIVE DECREE Number 32: On July 29, 2020, the Ministry of Health issued a new Executive Decree, which aims to develop the new principles, conditions, as well as the specific protocols to promote the gradual reactivation of economic, labor, administrative and social activities, both in the public and private sectors. Such reopening will be under necessary sanitary conditions and to the lives of employees, employers, and the population in general, in the development of the pandemic generated by COVID-19. Executive Decree No. 32 entered into force on July 29, 2020, concluding its effects on October 4, 2020, the term may be extended according to the development of the pandemic situation by COVID-19.


Below we have included a brief summary of the extraordinary measures adopted by the Government of El Salvador, in accordance with Executive Decree 32:



The Ministry of Health (MINSAL) will be in charge of issuing general guidelines for the adoption of sanitary measures in the resumption of activities in the public and private sectors.


These guidelines will serve as the basis for the elaboration of the respective protocols to be carried out by each economic sector in particular.


The State and the economic sectors must prepare their respective health protocols, based on the guidelines issued by MINSAL. The protocols must contain collective and individual prevention of contagion measures, social distancing, use of personal protective equipment, management of meetings, and others.


These protocols must be submitted to MINSAL for validation and authorization.




For the gradual economic reopening, different factors have been taken into consideration, which will serve as a basis to support reasons for possible modifications to the reopening phases:


a) Evaluation of the epidemiological situation;

b) Installed capacity of the integrated national health system;

c) Sectors and businesses with lower relative risk rates of COVID-19 infection; and,

d) Sectors of economic relevance in terms of employment, number of companies, contribution to GDP, and level of exports.


If the epidemiological situation worsens, MINSAL may reform the terms for the resumption of activities regulated in the decree, based on the health of the population.




Labor and economic activities may begin operations gradually, following the health protocols authorized by MINSAL.


Public and private entities must respect the gradual reactivation of the economy, following the modalities established by Decree 32, if the date corresponding to the opening phase of a specific activity has not yet arrived, this sector must avoid exposure to COVID-19 infections, keeping their staff at their respective addresses.


The order of activities and chronologies have been agreed by different relevant actors of various economic activities, together with the Government. Following the consensus, the respective activities are resumed under the following phases:


A) PHASE 1. RESTART OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES (from July 29 to Wednesday, August 19, 2020, including all the economic activities previously authorized in Executive Decree 31)


  1. Take-Out for food and pharmaceutical products;
  2. Pharmacies, drug stores and pharmaceutical laboratories. The cosmetic industry will not be able to work;
  3. Clinical laboratories;
  4. Public Transportation to mobilize duly identified health personnel. The GOVERNMENT will provide public transportation assistance to the persons identified as part of the Vulnerable Groups;
  5. Agro-industry;
  6. Agriculture, livestock, poultry, beekeeping, pig farming, fish farming and fishing;
  7. Call Centers Services;
  8. Food and beverage manufacturing industries;
  9. Public and Private drinkable water services;
  10. Agriculture products;
  11. Cleaning and hygiene products;
  12. Insecticides and pesticides;
  13. Fuels and petroleum products for electric power generation and gas stations;
  14. Bed Manufacturing factories established in the Central Zone of El Salvador (w/ 40% capacity);
  15. Hardware stores (w/ 40% capacity)
  16. Construction companies and distribution-chain related products;
  17. Telephone, cable and internet services;
  18. Generation, distribution, transmission and sale of electric energy services;
  19. Collection of solid waste and bio-infectious related services;
  20. Press;
  21. Funeral and cemetery services;
  22. Aviation, dispatch, ground support, charge and discharge of aircrafts, aircrew and maintenance support services;
  23. Textile and clothing industry;
  24. Metalworking industry;
  25. Electronic manufacturing;
  26. Spare parts and auto parts manufacturing;
  27. Energy sector;
  28. Repair and maintenance services (vehicles, machines, equipment, household appliances, among others);
  29. Aeronautical industry;

a) Operations of passenger flights for repatriation and humanitarian flights;

b) Import cargo terminal operations: general, postal, logistics, Courier and perishable cargo, except for parcels of merchandise for resale; and

c) Cargo terminal operation for general export.


DISCLAIMER: These operations must follow the sanitary and biosafety protocols proposed by CEPA, which must be authorized by MINSAL.

30. Seaports for the export and import of general cargo and logistics;

31. In Shopping Centers are authorized:

a) Shops with online or telephone sales, at home to pick up abroad or in the parking lots of the shopping center:

b) Restaurants at home or to pick up outside or parking lots in shopping centers.

32. Provision of home delivery and take-out meals (including restaurants and hotels);

33. Online and telephone business services;

34. Accounting, auditing and advocacy services related to investors and trade;

35. Printing services;

36. Online and telephone product trade with home delivery;

37. The modality by appointment is enabled for medical services, nursing and all related to health, including dental, ophthalmological and hearing;

38. Provision of veterinary health services, only for consultation and medical emergency;

39. The modality by appointment is enabled for beauty salons, hairdressers and barbershops;

40. Freight transportation, including for import and import;

41. Private transport of personnel in accordance with the protocols proposed by the Vice Ministry of Transport and authorized by MINSAL, in the following modalities:

a) Private transportation of employees from authorized sectors;

b) Group transportation of employees at company / sector level; and

c) Selective transport such as taxis and private vehicles for this purpose

42. Public sector (executive body, congressional body, judicial body and mayor’s offices) for investment and trade procedures;

43. Members of the diplomatic corps, cooperation, international organizations and humanitarian entities related to aid to the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters;

44. Business associations and unions;

45. Teachers and administrators can go to facilities for class preparation;

46. Footwear industry;

47. Plastic industry; and,

48. Paper and Cardboard industry in general;


B) PHASE 2: EXPANDING PRODUCTION AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES (from Thursday, August 20 to Thursday, September 3, 2020)


  1. Phase 1 sectors;
  2. Cosmetic industry;
  3. Other activities of the manufacturing industry;
  4. Creative industries;
  5. Professional services;
  6. Business services;
  7. Real estate;
  8. In Shopping Centers are authorized:

a) Activities established in phase 1

b) Supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, scanning services, public services and telephone, cable and internet services;

c) The operation of restaurants and food areas in open and closed spaces, in accordance with sanitary and biosafety protocols proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and authorized by the Ministry of Health;

d) Opticians, beauty salons, hairdressers and barbers, business services by appointment.

DISCLAIMER: Activities for recreational purposes are not allowed.

  1. Restaurants and cafes in accordance with sanitary and biosafety protocols proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and authorized by MINSAL;
  2. Collective transport in accordance with strict sanitary and biosafety protocols, authorized by the Ministry of Health on the proposal of the Vice Ministry of Transport;
  3. People may go for a walk following the biosafety health protocols;
  4. Aviation school.


C) PHASE 3: NEW EXPANSION OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES (Friday, September 4 to Friday, September 18, 2020)


  1. Phase 2 sectors;
  2. Wholesale trade;
  3. Activities of the informal sector, complying with the health protocols issued by MINSAL;
  4. Beauty salons, hairdressers and barber shops without an appointment;
  5. Non-contact sports establishments, gyms and outdoors, complying with sanitary protocols issued by MINSAL
  6. Aeronautical industry for operations in the HUB for transit departures and arrivals of passengers at a percentage of operation;
  7. Shopping centers with commercial activities authorized in this phase;
  8. Churches and Worship places;
  9. Private daily care centers for the elderly and people with disabilities.


D) PHASE 4: APPROACHING THE NEW NORMALITY (Saturday, September 19 to Saturday, October 3, 2020)


  1. Phase 3 sectors
  2. Shows and public sporting events;
  3. Aeronautical industry for commercial passenger operations at an operating percentage;
  4. Internal and international tourism;
  5. Museums and exhibition halls;
  6. Convention Centers and Reception Rooms up to 50% of their capacity;
  7. Cinemas and theaters (with 50% of capacity);
  8. Shopping Centers with commercial activities authorized in this phase;
  9. Public sector;


E) PHASE 5: NEW REGULATION (as of Sunday, October 4, 2020)


All other activities that are not operating in phase 4 are allowed. The industries authorized in the aforementioned phases will be allowed to operate the supply and distribution chains of the industries in this phase. They must maintain a distance of 2 meters between people and comply with the biosafety protocols defined by the Ministry of Health.


The supply and distribution chains of the industries will be allowed to operate in all the aforementioned phases. Likewise, they must maintain a distance of 2 meters between people, complying with strict biosafety protocols based on the guidelines defined by the Ministry of Health.




The authorities that present collaboration, as well as employees, employers, civil and military authorities, as well as individuals in general, must abide by the minimum general measures that must be met for all phases, such as:


  • Permanent mask-use
  • Social distancing of at least 2 meters
  • Hand washing with soap and constant water
  • Avoid touching your nose and mouth
  • Do not greet with a kiss or hug
  • Sneeze education




Salvadorans from abroad will be received by the authorities of the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens and the Ministry of Health, in order to register their income and submit them to medical examinations, in order to determine the place where they must keep a quarantine personal for a maximum period of fifteen days, by duly reasoned medical resolution.

If the test is negative, they will be sent to your place of residence.




  • Employees over the age of sixty;
  • Women in a state of pregnancy, puerperium and exclusive breastfeeding;
  • People with chronic kidney failure or transplanted, hypertensive, people diagnosed with cancer, degenerative and immunosuppressive;
  • People with disabilities, chronic lung disease or morbid obesity;


The jobs of the persons mentioned before may not be affected if they choose not to attend their workplace, being last in the labor incorporation.




MINSAL will be the national health authority and responsible for coordinating, directing and executing the “General guidelines for the adoption of sanitary measures in the resumption of activities in the public and private sectors.” These guidelines will develop related to: collective and individual contagion prevention measures, social distancing, use of personal protective equipment, hygiene and disinfection measures for areas and equipment, as well as control measures for employee conditions.

In order to collaborate with such activity, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare shall carry out inspections in the different places or jobs, and inform the MINSAL of any abnormality or health risk found, in order to carry out the procedure, corresponding administrative, in order to immediately adopt the appropriate provisional measures to safeguard the rights of people.




In order to guarantee compliance with Executive Decree 32, the Ministry of Economy must create a Support Office, which will be headed by the Minister of Economy, in order to provide: technical information, guidance and advice, training, technical assistance, adaptation of infrastructure, financing, commercial links, digitization of MSMEs,

Scroll to Top