Due to worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the measures currently enforced in El Salvador, which mainly affect individuals and companies are the following:
- EXECUTIVE DECREE Number 29: On June 2, 2020, the Ministry of Health issued a new Executive Decree, aims to establish measures for the conservation and protection of the population’s health due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to delimit all those essential products and services and commercial or industrial activities that are allowed to be carried out while the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic lasts. Based on articles 40, 136, 137, and 139 of the Health Code, establishes the powers of the Ministry of Health, to dictate health-related regulations, as well as the conditions for treatment, quarantine, isolation, and surveillance. Said Decree repealed Executive Decrees N ° 26, 27, and 28. Executive Decree N ° 29 will enter into force on June 2, 2020, ending its effects on June 15, 2020.
- EXECUTIVE DECREE Number 30: On June 4, 2020, the Ministry of Health issued a new Executive Decree, which complements Executive Decree No. 29, as it adds a new economic activity authorized to operate. Executive Decree N ° 30 will enter into force on June 4, 2020, ending its effects on June 15, 2020.
Below we have included a brief summary of the extraordinary measures adopted by the Government of El Salvador, in accordance with Executive Decree 29 and 30:
I. CIRCULATION MEASURES.
Any individual who by reason of food supply, purchase of medicines or bank transactions, will do so according to their last digit of their National Identification Document, passport or resident card for foreigners, as follows:
|Last Digit of the National Identification Number||Days enabled|
|0-1-2||Thursday 4, Monday 8, Friday 12, of June, 2020|
|3-4||Friday 5, Tuesday 9, Saturday 13, of June, 2020|
|5-6||Saturday 6, Wednesday 10, Sunday 14, of June, 2020|
|7-8-9||Wednesday 3, Sunday 7, Thursday 11, and Monday 15, of June, 2020|
Those people who do not have their National Identification Document number, may circulate with a certification thereof, issued by the National Registry of Natural Persons. The Supermarkets, pharmacies and banks verify the National Identification Document number, passport or residence card of the clients, corresponds to the authorized day above for them to circulate.
This decree has stipulated two specific exceptions, in the cases mentioned above. Hardware stores and Pharmacies will be authorized to serve to the population regardless of the termination number of their National Identification Document, to stock up on products to carry out repairs or adjustments to their homes and to supply needs for medications and medical supplies due to force majeure,
The above will not apply when it refers to:
- Health System Employees
II. INDIVIDUALS SUBJECT TO LOCKDOWN
- Any person from abroad who enters the country, while the national emergency persists.
- People who breached the home quarantine without justification and according to medical evaluations are classified as suspected cases or who have been exposed to possible contagion. DISCLAIMER: Any person who breaches the lockdown measures, will be immediately transferred to an establishment to carry out medical evaluations, from which a response must be provided within twelve hour period. The security agents will voluntarily move out any person to carry out the pertinent tests, and if the person resists, they will be able to transfer them against their will. If the tests turns out to be negative, the Ministry of Health personnel will determine its transfer to a Containment Center for possible COVID-19 contagion or send it to home quarantine, contrary to it, if the response of the test carried out is positive, the transfer to a containment center will be carried out.
- People defined as epidemiological links:
Any individual suspected contracted COVID-19 will be subject to lockdown and must be informed of protocols followed by the Ministry of Health and be provided with reports on their health situation as well as the particular time of safeguard. And clearly, the persons confirmed with COVID-19, which should be separated from suspected cases. The quarantine can be controlled or at-home.
III. CONTROLED QUARANTINE
The controlled quarantine will be for 15 days or the period estimated by the health authorities before medical evaluations. For people coming from abroad, it will be for the period of the national emergency that started on June 2, through executive decree No. 29, as well as its epidemiological links.
If a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified in any Containment Center, the individuals who are in this center must remain six days in a controlled quarantine, as it becomes an epidemiological link.
Once the period of controlled quarantine in a Containment Center has ended, people must remain in a household quarantine for fifteen days.
IV. INDIVIDUALS AUTHORIZED TO CIRCULATE ARE THE FOLLOWING:
- Employees and public officials for each head of the institutions that provide public services or social services, directly and strictly related to fighting the pandemic.
- Deputies and administrative employees of the Legislative Assembly.
- Magistrates, judges and court employees as well as administrative employees of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Institute of Legal Medicine, Attorney General of the Republic, Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, Office of the Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights and National Judiciary Council, Ministry of Finance and National Registry.
- People who need to buy food, beverages and pharmaceuticals, medical treatments, pet emergencies, and others who may have to go to an assistance center, markets, or supermarkets for emergencies to stock up on essential products.
- People who assist or care for children, the elderly, people with disabilities, or people especially vulnerable due to chronic diseases, who must move to a place due to emergency or periodic medical attention.
- People who work for the media and press, who must always carry their identification card.
- People from the agricultural sector and independent workers from the same industry.
- Personnel from the financial sector, AFP, INPEP, and Insurance.
- Private security personnel who attend essential services such as electric power, water, telephone, and internet.
- Employees and contractors of companies and industries engaged in the activities permitted in the decree.
V. THE FOLLOWING ENTITIES ARE EXPRESSLY ALLOWED TO CARRY OUT THEIR SERVICES:
- Call Centers whose business activity consists in the sale and distribution of medicines, takeout food, airline customer service, electricity services, telecommunications services, drinking water, banking and financial services, as well as medical services.
- Food and beverage production industry, such as: cereals, milk powder, pasta, flours, baby food, sugar, salt, coffee, consommé, condiments, tomato sauce, mustard and the like and its supply chain, except for chips, snacks, goodies, candies, non-perishable foods not included above, carbonated drinks, similar and alcoholic beverages
- Insecticides and pesticides.
- Cleaning and hygiene products for surfaces and personal hygiene products; such as disposable diapers, disinfectants, detergents, soap, toothpaste, and bleach.
- Pharmacies, drug stores and pharmaceutical laboratories, except for the cosmetic industry.
- Clinical laboratories.
- Agroindustry and its distribution chain.
- Agriculture and livestock, beekeeping, pig farming and fish farming.
- Industry of inputs for agriculture.
- Artisan bakery, chains and franchises are excluded.
- Medical, nursing, dentistry, ophthalmology and hearing services.
- Electric power generation, distribution and marketing services.
- Home delivery of food and pharmaceutical products.
- Private transportation of personnel, except public passenger transportation.
DISCLAIMER: In accordance with the provisions of Executive Decree 29, public passenger transportation will only operate to transport duly identified health system employees. The Public Administration and Entities authorized to operate, must guarantee the mobilization of their employees, from the place of their residence to their work place and vice versa.
15. Fuels and products related to the generation of electrical energy and operation of gas stations.
16. Mattress and Beds Factories throughout the national territory, with a maximum of forty percent of its staff.
17. Hardware stores with a maximum of forty percent of its staff.
18. Construction and civil engineering services, only for natural disaster mitigation and prevention works, authorized by the Ministry of Public Works.
19. Public and private drinking water distribution services, pipes, including purified water.
20. Telephone, cable and internet services and recharging points of sale.
21. Funeral and cemetery services.
22. Aviation support services such as dispatchers, ground support, loading and unloading of aircraft, crews, maintenance of all types of equipment used in airports, Aeronautical maintenance and the like.
23. Media and press
24. Plastic manufacturing and distribution companies throughout the national territory, with a maximum of forty percent of their personnel, AUTHORIZED THROUGH EXECUTIVE DECREE N ° 30
25. Collection, transport, treatment and disposal services for solid and bio-infectious waste.
26. Cargo transportation services for the activities herein.
DISCLAIMER: This Decree is explicit in establishing that only the companies listed in the decree are authorized to operate, eliminating the option that those not mentioned therein, request authorization from the Ministry of Health.
All authorized employees must carry an identification card, plus a letter from their employer, authorizing their mobility and identifying the employee with his name, signature, National Identification Document number, address and phone number of the employer.
All companies are forced to send their employees over 60 years old, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases, such as kidney failure, cancer, lupus, diabetes, among others, to their homes to quarantine lockdown.
Authorized entities must comply, within their premises, with the following sanitary measures:
- Keep social distancing. (no less than one meter and a half)
- Placing hand sanitizer dispensers.
- Wash their hands constantly.
- Provide the Employees a mask at all times.
- Cover their mouths when sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid touching their faces.
- Comply with all necessary measures to ensure its employees from a possible infection, among which are: social distancing and aseptic tasks.
All those individuals who do not comply with the aforementioned measures, may incur in pertinent criminal and civil liabilities. All those companies that carry out an unauthorized activity will be temporarily closed, in accordance with the respective laws.
VI. SUSPENSION OF ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES.
- Restaurants may only operate in “takeout” mode.
- The activities of all non-perishable food companies, as well as their transportation and distribution.
- Opening of shopping centers to the public. Only the supermarkets, banks and pharmacies will be open within them.
- Florists, patisseries and warehouses dedicated to the sale of celebration products.
VII. MINISTRY OF LABOR AND MUNICIPAL COLLABORATION.
All those authorized entities that can continue carrying out their activities, in accordance with this Decree, must comply with the occupational health and safety protocols established by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. The Ministry will ensure that these protocols are being fulfilled both in public institutions and municipalities. Likewise, the General Direction of Labor Inspection and Social Security will verify compliance with the work places authorized in this Decree.
It is established that the Mayors, Municipal Councils, CAM, and Civil Protection Commissions must collaborate with the PNC, in controlling the markets and the sales made therein. They will also verify that people have the authorized National Identification Document number, thus verifying that they comply with the sanitary measures.
VIII. GENERAL MEASURES.
MINSAL must comply with the International Health Regulations in any action related to the surveillance of COVID-19. Any person who knows any suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 should report it to MINSAL. Also, sanctions are established in case of non-compliance with the provisions of the Law, following the Salvadoran Health Code. This Law shall apply in a unique way to any other that may contradict it.