Medellín Mayor Daniel Quintero announced new COVID-19 preventive measures including a dry law every weekend in Medellín and a curfew on holidays. Also, a strict quarantine on weekends and holidays has been added starting on July 17 to help contain the pandemic.
These new measures are being put in place due to a recent increase in coronavirus cases in Medellín. The first weekend dry law started on Friday, July 3 at 6:00 pm and ran until Sunday, July 5 at 11:59 pm.
The announcement by the Medellín Mayor did not include an end date but the mayor said these restrictions will remain until the “end of the pandemic.”
Several Medellin Guru readers asked questions about the new COVID-19 preventive measures in Medellín. So, we published this article to answer these questions. Note these preventive measures are not really new and were previously used over holiday weekends in Medellín.
Mayor Quintero revealed that the Medellín police had to intervene in 1,877 parties. So, the goal of the new measures is to prevent infections caused by bad behavior and lack of self-care.
EDITOR NOTES: On July 11, Medellín Mayor Quintero announced that the La Candelaria (El Centro) comuna in Medellín will be locked down for two weeks with a strict quarantine starting on July 13 for two weeks. Also, Pico y Cedula is changing to a very restrictive schedule starting on July 13 that permits you to go out only once per week.
In addition, the Medellín Mayor announced on July 13, that “we” have decided Medellín and the rest of the Aburrá Valley will enter a phase with four days of working and three days of total closing with a strict quarantine. This was a decision by the government of Antioquia.
Throughout the Aburrá Valley, starting on Friday, July 17, at 00:00 hour (midnight on Thursday) and until the holiday on Monday July 20, there was a strict quarantine for four days in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley. Also, this will continue with three additional three-day weekends with a strict quarantine until August 9.
Furthermore, Envigado put in place a curfew in two barrios (La Sebastiana and Uribe Ángel) starting on July 15 for seven days, from 7 pm to 5 am which closes all commerce and prevents movement.
Strict Quarantine in the La Candelaria (El Centro) Comuna in Medellín Starting on July 13 and Strict Quarantine in Medellín on Weekends
Starting on Monday, July 13, La Candelaria (El Centro) in Medellín was down according to El Colombiano for 14 days with a strict quarantine.
In La Candelaria in Medellín, the quarantine is similar to the quarantine in March, with a total restriction of movement starting midnight on July 12 (zero hour of July 13) with a closure of shops with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies and basic necessities.
The strict quarantine is until midnight on July 26 and the locations are outlined in red in the following map:
Locking down the La Candelaria comuna in Medellín for two weeks with a strict quarantine is estimated to reduce by one million the contacts that occur in Medellín.
In addition, Medellín Mayor announced on July 13, that Medellín and the Aburrá Valley will enter a phase with four days of working and three days with a strict quarantine.
Throughout the Aburrá Valley, the first long weekend of four days with the strict quarantine was from Friday, July 17 at the 00:00 hour (midnight on Thursday) until the holiday on Monday, July 20, at midnight. This initial four days of strict quarantine is due to adding the holiday.
According to El Tiempo there were initially four long weekends with the strict quarantine but a fifth was added on August 8:
- July 17 to July 20 (4 days)
- July 24 to July 26 (3 days)
- July 31 to August 2 (3 days)
- August 7 to August 9 (3 days)
- August 15 to August 17 (3 days)
Note these strict quarantines start at midnight on the day before or at the 00:00 hour. For example, the strict quarantine from July 24 to July 26 starts at midnight on July 23 until midnight on July 26.
This restriction follows the model of four days working and three days of strict quarantine except the first weekend that was four days of quarantine due to a holiday.
The strict quarantine in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley, is very strict and does not permit leaving the home for outside exercise or grocery shopping. Only one person per family is permitted to take out pets during the strict quarantine.
However, the strict weekend quarantines ended on August 17 and the next two weeks do not have these long weekend quarantines.
The complete rules of the strict quarantine defined by the Antioquia Governor for Medellín and the Aburrá Valley including the decree are included in this article on El Colombiano (in Spanish). Also, there are stiff penalties for violating the strict quarantine.
Also, Envigado put in place a strict curfew in two barrios (La Sebastiana and Uribe Ángel) starting on July 15 for seven days, from 7 pm to 5 am which closes all commerce and prevents movement. This is due to an increase in coronavirus cases in these neighborhoods.
Pico y Cedula Start on July 13 until August 30
Medellin and the Aburrá Valley also has a Pico y Cedula restriction that restricts when you to go out only once per week.
But this Pico y Cedula schedule was has been updated multiple times, with the latest issued on August 15 covering the period from August 18 to 30.
Pico y Cedula Starting on July 13 to August 30, 2020
This pico y cedula is for the entire Aburrá Valley reportedly including 9 of the 10 municipalities in the valley including Medellín, Envigado, Sabaneta, Itagüí, Bello, La Estrella, Barbosa and Copacabana.
This new schedule starting on July 13 for several weeks permits you to go out only once per week.
The following is the official Pico y Cedula schedule from July 20 to August 17:
Starting on July 20:
- Monday, July 20: Restricted – nobody can go out
- Tuesday, July 21: 0, 1, 2
- Wednesday, July 22: 3, 4, 5
- Thursday, July 23: 6, 7, 8
- Friday, July 24 : Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Saturday, July 25: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Sunday, July 26: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
Starting on July 27:
- Monday, July 27: 9, 0, 1
- Tuesday, July 28: 2, 3, 4
- Wednesday, July 29: 5, 6, 7
- Thursday, July 30: 8, 9
- Friday, July 31: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Saturday, August 1: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Sunday, August 2: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
Starting on August 3:
- Monday, August 3: 0, 1
- Tuesday, August 4: 2, 3
- Wednesday, August 5: 4, 5, 6
- Thursday, August 6: 7, 8, 9
- Friday, August 7: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Saturday, August 8: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Sunday, August 9: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
Starting on August 10:
- Monday, August 10: 0, 1
- Tuesday, August 11: 2, 3
- Wednesday, August 12: 4, 5
- Thursday, August 13: 6, 7
- Friday, August 14: 8, 9
- Saturday, August 15: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Sunday, August 16: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
- Monday, August 17: Restricted – nobody can go out, strict quarantine
Starting on August 18 is a new Pico y Cedula schedule that no longer has strict quarantines on the weekend.
Starting on August 18:
- Tuesday, August 18: 0, 1
- Wednesday, August 19: 2, 3
- Thursday, August 20: 4, 5
- Friday, August 21: 6, 7
- Saturday, August 22: 8, 9
- Sunday, August 23: 0, 1
Starting on August 24:
- Monday, August 24: 0, 1
- Tuesday, August 25: 2, 3
- Wednesday, August 26: 4, 5
- Thursday, August 27: 6, 7
- Friday, August 28: 8, 9
- Saturday, August 29: 2, 3
- Sunday, August 30: 4, 5
Official Source, Área Metropolitana del Valle de Aburrá: https://twitter.com/areametropol
Pico y Cedula restricts the days you can go out shopping and to banks based on the last digit of your ID. We have a separate guide to Pico y Cedula that is being kept up-to-date.
Furthermore, Medellín makes it a requirement to wear face masks when leaving the home. Also, Medellín is providing free COVID-19 tests.
Ley Seca – Dry Law Restriction on Weekends
The dry law (ley seca) restriction prevents the sale of alcohol in Medellín on the weekends from 5 pm on Friday to 11:59 pm on Sunday starting this weekend on July 3.
However, this dry law restriction may not apply in other municipalities in the Aburrá Valley. For example, we confirmed that Envigado does not have a dry law this weekend.
The dry law restriction is being put in place to reduce consumption of liquor. In Colombian culture, drinking alcohol is often excessive. And for those who are intoxicated, it becomes more difficult to ask them to respect distance or to wear face masks.
Medellín put in place dry laws in the past for holidays. For example, over the Father’s Day weekend in 2020, Medellín had a dry law in place for three days.
Toque de Queda – Curfew on Holidays
In addition, Medellín Mayor Quintero announced that there will be a curfew on upcoming holidays. The next holiday in Colombia is Monday, July 20, Colombian Independence Day. We have separate guide to all of the Colombian holidays.
Note there is NO curfew planned on other days. The planned curfew is only for holidays and this likely means for holiday weekends, as it has in the past.
Medellín last had a curfew (toque de queda) over the Mother’s Day weekend. This curfew was from Saturday, May 9 at 7 pm until 5 am Sunday May 10 and again on Sunday at 7:00 pm until 3:00 am on Monday, May 11.
Why Put in Place COVID-19 Preventive Measures Measures?
Medellín has experienced an increase in coronavirus cases over the past three weeks, as seen in the above graphic, which is a rolling 6-day average of daily new coronavirus cases in Medellín.
On, July 6, Medellín had 3,168 coronavirus cases, which was up 236 from July 5. A goal of the new COVID-19 preventive measures is to slow the growth of new coronavirus cases in Medellín.
Medellin Guru’s Coronavirus Series
Medellin Guru has a series of articles about the coronavirus pandemic and the impacts in Colombia: Also, these articles are being kept up-to-date, as this is a fast-moving topic:
- Economy Impacts in Colombia Due to Extended Quarantine
- Epicenter of Coronavirus in Colombia: Bogotá is the Epicenter
- Humanitarian Flights from Colombia to the U.S. and Other Countries
- Beware of Fake News in Colombia About Coronavirus and Quarantines
- Medellín Starts Free COVID-19 Tests on the Medellín Metro
- New COVID-19 Preventive Measures in Medellín to Contain the Pandemic
- Penalties for Violating the Quarantine in Medellín are Stiff
- COVID-19 Orange Alert in Bogotá: New Lockdowns in Bogotá
- Medellín Starts to Lift the Quarantine: Enters Smart Isolation Phase
- Colombia Started to Lift the Quarantine – What Does this Mean?
- Coronavirus: When Will the Quarantine Be Lifted in Colombia?
- Colombia Starts to Lift the Quarantine in COVID-19 Free Areas
- Colombia Quarantine: Nationwide Quarantine Extended to September 1
- Coronavirus in Colombia: Myth vs Reality – Current Status
- Coronavirus Hospitalization in Colombia: Myth vs Reality
- Are Medellín and Antioquia Winning the Coronavirus Battle?
- 23 Cities with a Major Increase in Coronavirus Cases in Colombia
- Colombia Coronavirus Death Rate: What are the Chances of Dying?
- Coronavirus: When Will Things Return to Normal in Colombia?
- COVID-19 Testing in Colombia: Realty About Coronavirus Testing
- Life as an Expat: During Medellín’s Coronavirus Quarantine
- Colombian Visa Process Changes: Due to Quarantine and Coronavirus
- Medellín Coronavirus Closures – What is Closed in Medellín?
- Pico y Cedula: A Restriction for Grocery Shopping in the Aburrá Valley During the Quarantine
- Pico y Cedula in Colombia: Which is Strictest Out of 5 Largest Cities?
- Medellín Quarantine Starts on March 20 for Four Days
The Bottom Line: New COVID-19 Preventive Measures in Medellín to Contain the Pandemic
Medellín has put in place new COVID-19 preventive measures to help contain the pandemic plus added a strict quarantine on weekends and holidays.
Also, on July 13, a strict quarantine in La Candelaria (El Centro) in Medellín started for two weeks. The rest of Medellín remains under a relaxed quarantine with malls and other shops open except on the weekends and holidays. Medellín and the Aburrá Valley are now entering a phase of four days of work and three days of strict quarantine for a total of four weeks.
Stay safe! And protect yourself from COVID-19 by:
- Staying home as much as possible.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Put distance between yourself and other people when you are out.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Wear a face mask.
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Editors note: updated on July 4, 2020 to add that Pico y Cedula has been extended to August 2.
Editors note: updated on July 11, 2020 with information that Medellín is adding a strict quarantine in La Candelaria (El Centro) starting on July 13 for two weeks.
Editors note: updated again on July 11, 2020 at 8:30 pm with information that Pico y Cedula in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley is changing to a very restrictive schedule starting on July 13 for two weeks.
Editors note: updated on July 13, 2020 with information that Envigado with have a nightly curfew in two barrios starting on July 15 for seven days.
Editors note: updated on July 14, 2020 with information that Medellín and the Aburrá Valley will have a strict quarantine on weekends and holidays starting on July 17.
Editors note: updated on July 21, 2020 with information that the strict quarantine for three day weekends in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley is extended until August 9 for a total of four weeks.
Editors note: updated on July 22, 2020 with new Pico y Cedula schedule staring on July 23.
Editors noted: updated on August 8, 2020 with the new Pico y Cedula schedule for Medellín and the Aburrá Valley until August 17. Also, added a fifth week to the rolling 3 day quarantine, 4 day working for the Aburrá Valley.
Editors note: updated on August 18, 2020 with the new Pico y Cedula schedule for Medellín and the Aburrá Valley until August 30.
Thanks for the information about these measures and keeping readers updated. Some sites have inaccurate information and I always trust what I find on Medellin Guru.
YES! Thanks Jeff. Finally all in one place. Great Job! The rules change so fast.
Are old folks still limited to 30 min on their Pico y Cedula days?
Is enforcement even-handed wrt barrio?
How about the two hour limit on adults? Still in force?
Is there any real enforcement?
I saw your one-sentence statement that masks are mandatory when one leaves one’s home. Is there any enforcement? It doesn\t look like it!
What’s the latest on school opening?
How did the Dia sin IVA go on Friday?
Yes, mandatory to wear masks when leave the house, nothing on schools opening.
Unless you are in El Centro with the strict quarantine you can go out for exercise following the rules of the nationwide quarantine – age range of 18 to 69 years, for a maximum period of two (2) hours daily, adults over 70 years, for a maximum period of two (2) hours daily, children over 6 years old, three (3) times a week, one (1) hour a day, children between two (2) and five (5) years, three (3) times a week, half an hour a day. See: https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/44-excepciones-de-aislamiento-hasta-el-1-de-agosto–cuarentena-colombia/685363
I’m still unclear on one thing re reading this. I know the dry law is in place “until the pandemic ends.”
But after this upcoming weekend and up to July 20th, how long is the 4 days on and 3 day. Full quarantine on weekends going to last?
Is this also until the pandemic ends or is this ongoing every weekend indefinitely?
The initial announcement said the 4 days on and 3 days off will be for a period of 20 days. See: https://www.minuto30.com/medellin/medellin-fds-cuarentena-total/1082976/
Got it, thanks!
Hi Jeff, what is 3 days of strict lockdown? Will shopping be possible at all? My passport was going to allow me to shop on Friday (ends in an 8) but does this now mean nothing will be open? Also, presumably strict lockdown for 3 days means no daily exercise?
Here is an up to date list of the permitted activities during the strict quarantine in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley (in Spanish) – https://www.elcolombiano.com/antioquia/cuarentena-por-la-vida-en-el-valle-de-aburra-excepciones-y-horarios-KA13319452
So the 2 hours that was previous allowed to go out and exercise is restricted during this weekend? I didn’t really see anything about that in the article.
Exercise is not permitted. In the above article it says:
“The strict quarantine in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley, is very strict and does not permit leaving the home for outside exercise or grocery shopping. Only one person per family is permitted to take out pets.”
Wow, thanks Jeff.
I have have no idea what curfew means in Medellin. One exception after another. In all events, given “new” strict curfew on weekends and holidays, is outdoor exercise allowed on those days?
I asked a police officer at the Sabaneta police station yesterday and he said no outdoor exercise permitted on the strict quarantine days.
Thanks again Jeff for all you do to help us stay aware of Colombian law and practice during this pandemic.
The 19 JUL IVA free day has been cancelled, yes… does that also include for online purchases? For example, for the 2nd IVA free day earlier this month, electronics were only sold online… I thought they might transition to that, but understand that, because so many Colombians don’t have a computer, how that wouldn’t be very equitable for this country writ large.
The IVA tax free day is completely postponed. I haven’t seen anything about an IVA tax free day for online purchases. Most places in Medellín will be closed on Sunday due to the strict quarantine.