Public Law Department Report Necessity and Urgency Decree No. 956/2020: Mandatory and Preventive Social Insulation and Social Distancing
Within the state of the sanitary emergency currently in force, the President issued the Necessity and Urgency Decree No. 956/2020 -published on November 30th, 2020- which introduced some modifications to those areas subject to Mandatory and Preventive Social Insulation and for those under and Social Distancing, between November 30th, and December 20th, 2020.
Along its first chapter, said Decree identifies the jurisdictions that will be subjected to the Social Distancing regime, being them: the AMBA region, all of the departments of the Province of Buenos Aires, every department of Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Córdoba, Corrientes, La Pampa, Formosa, Mendoza, Misiones, Neuquén, San Luis, San Juan, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, Tucumán, Tierra Del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur, Santa Cruz, except for Puerto Deseado, Jujuy, Río Negro, except for Bariloche and Dina Huapi, La Rioja, Salta and Santiago del Estero.
Social Distancing requires compliance with the following requirements: (i) an adequate health system with capacity to respond the sanitary demand, (ii) that the jurisdiction is not considered as of viral community transmission by the National Sanity Authority, (iii) the rate for confirmed cases within the last two closed epidemiologic weeks and the total of confirmed cases is inferior to 0,8.
Moreover, the Decree states people circulation is only allowed within the limit of their department or municipality, unless for those with Unique Circulation Certificate. Specific conduct parameters will need to be fulfilled, e.g., minimum distance of 2 meters. Also, said Decree states provincial authorities are entitled to dictate regulations in order to limit circulation to specific timeframes or zones, and state 14 days isolation with regards to people entering their provinces from other jurisdictions, instead for those people conducting essential activities.
Also, it is important to point out that for the developing of economical, industrial, business or services activities a special protocol is to be required, approved by the sanitary authority and always limiting closed spaces to 50% of its capacity. Within AMBA region, gastronomic activities may only have a 30% of occupation in closed spaces.
Furthermore, prohibition to develop the following activities is still maintained: (i) public or private events with an attendance of more than 20 people, (ii) cultural, social, recreative or religious events in open public spaces with more than 100 people, (iii) the practice of any sports with more than 10 people or that won’t allow a 2 meter distancing; within the AMBA region, there is no authorization for sports in closed spaces (vi) cinemas, theaters, clubs, cultural centers, (v) public transportation service for interurban, interjurisdictional and international passengers, except for the exceptions previously established (i.e., essential activities), (vi) touristic activities, (vii) meetings during working hours that do not comply with 2 meters distance and correct ventilation of spaces and (viii) prohibition of family reunions or events in closed spaces or in people’s domiciles. As per request of the Governors, the Chief of Cabinet may authorize exceptions to said prohibitions, with requirement of a previously approved protocol.
In its second chapter, Decree No. 875/2020 establishes Mandatory and Preventing Social Insulation for the following jurisdictions are the areas of Bariloche and Dina Huapi in Río Negro and Puerto Deseado in Santa Cruz.
Essential and authorized activities remain as established by Decree 875/2020, along with those activities that were incorporated by later Decisions, requiring the approval of protocols by sanitary provincial or City of Buenos Aires authorities. The granting of new authorizations for new activities is also kept with no changes and depends on the amount of inhabitants of each region (over or under 500,000) and of the specific distinctions made for special jurisdictions (for instance, AMBA).
Also, Mandatory and Preventing Social Insulation maintains restrictions for the developing of activities implying people’s reunion; among others, those concerning public and private events, shopping malls and tourism. The Chief of Cabinet is entitled to the authorization of any of the aforementioned activities, as per request of the corresponding Governor.
Lastly, said Decree has a third chapter including common dispositions to both Mandatory and Preventing Social Insulation and Social Distancing, mainly regarding to epidemiology monitoring schemes, the restriction to circulate for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, the extension of the closure of Argentine borders and interjurisdiccional circulation.