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Latin American Policy Responses

Allison Reichel

Graduate Fellow

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How is Latin America responding to the coronavirus pandemic?

Updated May 11, 2020, at 8:30 AM EST

SFS is actively tracking the range of policy measures taken by regional governments in Latin America in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From limited closures, border restrictions, to national lockdowns, this infographic will be updated weekly to depict the latest measures taken in the region.

As of May 11th, most countries in Latin America remain in full national quarantine and many have extended the measure until the end of the month. In general, Latin American countries began their national lockdown in mid-March before reaching its 100th confirmed case or “day zero” of COVID-19. Currently, Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic are assessing their quarantine on a weekly basis, while Ecuador and Chile have moved to partial quarantine enforced by municipality or province. Most of the other countries in the region have extended their national quarantine to anywhere between May 21st – June 1st.  

Notably absent from taking any mitigation measures is Nicaragua, whose government has stressed that the novel coronavirus has not affected its country despite increasing to five (5) confirmed COVID-19 related deaths and an abnormal 31 percent Case Fatality Rate. 

Belize looks to be the first country in the region to lift its national quarantine, although the border remains closed until further notice. While other countries, such as Paraguay and Costa Rica, begin to implement phase one of what they call “intelligent quarantine” with limited opening of certain activities and industries throughout the country.  

Mexico and Brazil have not mandated a national lockdown, however, have implemented social distancing guidelines and restricted travel to include border closures. Brazil is currently in a dispute between the state and federal government, as some state governors move to implement local quarantines without backing from Brazil’s president. 

Other countries have experimented with gender-based quarantines. Panama passed its restrictions on March 30th, Peru on April 2nd, and Bogota followed suit on April 13th. Both Bogota and Peru overturned their gender limits, on April 10th and May 9th, respectively, due to extreme backlash.