Medellín coronavirus closures – many places are closed in Medellín due to the coronavirus outbreak. We look at over 1,000 closures including schools, entertainment and tourist attractions, libraries, churches, bars and sports venues.
Colombia has been putting in place many measures to minimize the public health threats posed by coronavirus in Colombia. These measures include banning the entry of all foreign visitors traveling to Colombia from any country, suspending the transit of cruise ships through Colombia and cancelling all events larger than 50 people.
In addition, Colombia is closing many places where people congregate. Several Medellin Guru readers asked about Medellin coronavirus closures. We also have a detailed article looking at coronavirus in Colombia.
So, in this article, we look at over 1,000 Medellín coronavirus closures including many schools, entertainment and tourist attractions, libraries, churches, sports venues, bars and discotheques that are now closed.
However, starting in August, Medellín planned the reopening of economic activity and many places that were closed started to reopen.
1. Colegios – School Closures in Medellín
There are over 220 official colegios in Medellín and many private colegios and many more colegios in the other municipalities in the Aburrá Valley. There are well over 300 colegios in the Aburrá Valley that are now closed.
Colgegios are the schools in Colombia used for elementary and secondary education. Colombia has an eleven-year system of elementary and secondary education, consisting of five years of elementary education, four years of lower secondary education and two years of upper secondary education.
President Iván Duque announced that as of Monday, March 16, the children and youth of all colegios in Colombia (public and private) will no longer have face-to-face classes to protect everyone’s health.
During the week of March 16, teachers and administrators at colegios are to prepare methodologies to deliver educational activities virtually.
Also, the Semana Santa holiday period of the colegio educational institutions in April has been advanced and extended to be between March 30 and April 20. And starting April 20, authorities will assess the conditions of the pandemic and determine whether or not to continue with the academic calendar and whether it is done in person or online.
2. University Closures in Medellín
It is expected that most if not all universities in Medellín will close. We confirmed five of the largest universities in Medellín have closed with closure dates.
Universidad de Antioquia – closed March 15
The University of Antioquia made the decision to suspend at 4 pm on Sunday, March 15, the face-to-face classes of undergraduate, postgraduate, continuing education, laboratory practices, in all its branches and sections.
Universidad EAFIT – closed March 16
Universidad EAFIT decided to suspend, between March 16 to March 21, all academic and activities for youth and adults in courses in all languages, including Spanish for foreigners.
During this time, the virtual platform that supports the teaching and learning processes will be refined, teachers will be trained in collaborative tools and the students’ approach to these aids and methodologies will be strengthened
Starting on Tuesday, March 24, all academic and evaluative activities are planned to be delivered virtually.
Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) – closed March 13
UPB plans to use an academic contingency plan that uses various flexibility strategies, including virtual classes and non-contact work arrangements.
For the current UPB Virtual offer, the contingency strategy will add 1,759 courses in this modality, which will be guided by 1,287 teachers and in which 17,814 students will participate.
Universidad de Medellín – closed March 15
On March 15, Universidad de Medellín decided to from March 15 until April 14 to suspend all classroom-based training.
Universidad Nacional – closed March 16
Universidad Nactional announced on Sunday that there will be no face-to-face classes in its nine venues in Colombia including one in Medellín starting on Monday, March 16. As far as technically possible, the university plans to use virtual platforms and electronic media in all academic activities.
3. Entertainment and Tourist Attraction Closures in Medellín
Cine Colombia – closed March 14
Cine Colombia made the decision to close all of its movie theaters in Colombia. This is a preventive measure, placing the well-being of all Colombians above private interests.
Cine Colombia is the largest movie theater chain in Colombia with 43 movie theaters with over 290 screens. And these are located in 12 cities in Colombia.
Cinemas Procinal – closed March 16
Cinemas Procinal also made the decision to close all its movie theaters in Colombia. Cinemas Procinal is a movie theater chain with 29 movie theaters in 12 cities and towns in Colombia. It has movie theaters in Apartadó, Barrancabermeja, Bello, Bogotá, Cartagena, La Ceja, Rionegro, Medellín, Sabaneta, Santa Marta, Sincelejo and Villavicencio.
Royal Films – closed March 16
Royal Films also closed all its movie theater in Colombia. Royal Films is reportedly the second largest movie theater chain in Colombia with 49 movie theaters with over 260 screens. And these are are located in over 30 cities and towns in Colombia.
In the Medellín metro area, Royal Films has four movie theaters located in Premium Plaza, LA 65, Bosque Plaza and Arrayanes Plaza in Itagüí.
However, starting on November 26, movie theaters start to reopen in Medellin and other cities in Colombia.
Other entertainment and tourist attraction closures we confirmed include:
- Parque Arví – closed March 17 and re-opening March 30, also the L-Line Metrocable to Parque Arví is closed
- Museo de Antioquia – closed March 15
- Jardín Botánico – closed March 14
- Parque Explora – closed March 14
- Parque Norte – closed March 14
- Aeroparque Juan Pablo II – closed March 14
- Museo Casa de la Memoria – closed March 14
- Museo de Arte Moderno (Modern Art Museum) or MAMM – closed March 14
- Pedro Nel Gómez Casa Museo – closed March 14
- Teatro Lido – closed March 14
However, some museums started to reopen in July and tourist attractions like Parque Arvi have reopened.
4. Library Closures in Medellín
On March 14, Medellín closed its entire system of public libraries. The Sistema de Bibliotecas Públicas de Medellín reportedly has a total of 35 libraries in the 16 comunas and 5 corregimientos (rural areas) in Medellín. Also, it is expected that libraries in other municipalities in the Aburrá Valley will close.
5. Sports Venue Closures in Medellín
INDER – closed March 14
On March 14, Instituto de Deporte y Recreación de Medellín (INDER) suspended all sports, recreation and physical activities, as well as closed all of its venues includes sports centers, coliseums, swimming pools, its bowling alley, among others.
INDER in Medellín reportedly has 144 multi-sport venues with spaces for basketball, soccer and volleyball; 26 swimming pools, 126 gymnasiums and one bowling alley, which are now all closed.
Smart Fit – closed March 16
All 17 of the the Smart Fit fitness locations in Medellín metro area closed on March 16 at noon until at least March 30.
Smart Fit closed its locations in Bogotá, Medellín, Envigado, Bello, Sabaneta, Itagüí, Cartagena, Neiva, Palmira, Villavicencio, Cali and Manizales.
Action Fitness – closed March 16
Action Fitness closed all 12 of its locations in the Medellín metro area until at least March 29.
Body Tech – closed March 16
Bodytech is a chain of high-end gyms located throughout Colombia’s major cities. It opened its first location in Bogotá in 1998 and now has over 85 gyms in Colombia.
Bodytech currently has 19 locations in the Medellín metro area. Most of these are standalone and a few are located in malls.
Note that gyms started to reopen in September as part of a general reopening of many places in Medellin.
6. Bars and Discotheque Closures
On Monday, March 16, the Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) ordered the closure of bars and discotheques throughout Colombia as a measure to control coronavirus. There are hundreds of bars and discotheques in Medellín.
Colombia is trying to restrict the contact of people, that’s why starting starting on March 16, Colombia closed bars and discotheques in Colombia and reduced public and private events from initially no more than 500 people to now no more than 50 people.
7. Roman Catholic Church Closures
On Monday, March 16, the Colombian Catholic Church announced that all its archdioceses in the country adopted a series of measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus among their parishioners.
In a communiqué issued by each archdiocese it is indicated that:
Public worship is suspended in all the temples of our dioceses. For the celebration of the Eucharist during the week, people are allowed in through a side door or the priest’s house. The celebration in the temple of the Sunday Eucharist is suspended and in the current circumstances, the participation of the Eucharist in virtual form (television, radio, networks) is valid.
So, public worship is suspended in all the Catholic churches in Medellín and the rest of Colombia. In the metropolitan Medellín metro area (Aburrá Valley), there are over 300 Roman Catholic churches. Here is a complete list of all the churches of the Archdiocese of Medellín.
But over 300 churches reopened in Medellín on September 1.
Starting on March 17, some restaurant chains in Colombia started closing.
- Starbucks – closed March 17 in Medellín and Cali and the rest of Colombia on March 18
- Dominos’s – closed March 17 in Medellín and Cali and the rest of Colombia on March 18
- Archies – closed March 17 in Medellín and Cali and the rest of Colombia on March 18
However, over 6,000 restaurants in Medellín started reopening in August.
Quarantines in Colombia Due to Coronavirus
Also, Governor Aníbal Gaviria Correa of Antioquia and the mayor of Medellín Daniel Quintero confirmed on March 19 during a televised address a quarantine in Antioquia including Medellín between 7:00 pm Friday, March 20 and 11:59 pm Tuesday, March 24. During this quarantine, the movement of people and vehicles is prohibited, in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Major cities in Colombia are undergoing quarantines over the Saint Joseph’s Day (Día de San José) holiday weekend in Colombia. So, up to about a third of Colombia is locked down:
- Bogotá – Friday, March 20 at midnight until the end of Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 pm
- Medellín and Antioquia – Friday, March 20 at 7 pm until Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 am (was originally 3 am but a new order extended this to March 24 at 11:59 pm)
- Cali – Friday, March 20 at 10 pm until Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 am (was originally 4 am but a new order extended this to March 24 at 11:59 pm)
- Cartagena – nightly curfews from 6 pm to 4 am and complete lockdowns on Saturday and Sunday (March 21 and 22) but a new order extended this to March 24 at 11:59 pm)
- The provinces of Boyaca and Meta are shutting down in coordination with Bogotá authorities. And the Santander provide, including its capital Bucaramanga, will also shut down late on Friday.
Barranquilla is the only major city in Colombia without a planned quarantine over the Saint Joseph’s Day holiday.
Quarantine for all of Colombia from March 24 to September 1
There was a nationwide quarantine in Colombia that began on March 24. Colombia’s initial nationwide quarantine was originally ending on April 13 but it has been extended eight times but ended on September 1:
- On April 6, was extended to April 26
- On April 20, was extended to May 11.
- A third time was extended to May 25
- A fourth time was extended to May 31
- A fifth time was extended to June 30
- On June 23, was extended a sixth time to July 15
- On July 7, was extended a seventh time to August 1
- On July 28, was extended an eighth time to September 1
So, the national quarantine in Colombia was for 160 days and was one of the longest in the world the quaratine officially ended on September 1. Colombia is now in a “selective Isolation” phase to the end of November, which prioritizes the tracing of contacts, infections and suspects and reactivates economic and social life.
During this quarantine many places closed but many places started to reopen in July, August and September.
Closures During the Quarantines in Colombia
During the quarantines in Colombia most places will be closed. The following places will be open:
- Grocery stores
- Hospitals and clinics
- Banks (normally only open to 1 pm and some branches are closed)
- Neighborhood tiendas
- Some restaurants that offer delivery services
However, some municipalities like Medellín Envigado, Sabaneta, La Estrella, Bello and Copacabana in the Aburrá Valley have added a Pico y Cedula system that limits the days you can go grocery shopping and to pharmacies and banks based on the last digit of your ID.
In addition, public transportation will still be operating but with more limited service. In Medellín, you will see much fewer buses than normal and the Medellín metro trains are running about every 15 minutes. Also, Pico y Placa is being used on the metro. So, you can only use the metro on certain days.
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:
- Humanitarian Flights from Colombia to the U.S. and Other Countries
- 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: Medellín Coronavirus Closures – What is Closed in Medellín?
Many places were currently closed in Medellín due to the threat of coronavirus. In this article, we looked at over 1,000 closures including schools, entertainment and tourist attractions, libraries, churches, sports venues and bars and discotheques. However with the end of the quarantine in Colombia in September, many of these places have reopened.
These closures are among the many measures being taken in Colombia to minimize the public health threats posed by coronavirus in Colombia. Also, all events with over 50 people in Colombia are canceled starting on March 16. So, many events including concerts, conventions and theater events are being cancelled in Medellín and throughout Colombia.
However, the banks, grocery stores and drug stores in Medellín are still open and some restaurants and shops are open. But there are likely many other places that have closed to minimize the public health threats posed by coronavirus and most places except grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and restaurants with delivery will close during quarantines.
Medellin Guru plans to update this article if we find out about additional closures.
What other places in Medellín have readers found that are closed.
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Editors note: updated on March 16, 2020 at 5:00 pm to add that bars and discotheques are closed throughout Colombia and add that public worship is suspended in all the Catholic churches in Colombia.
Editors note: updated on March 17 to add Parque Arví, Body Tech, Cinemas Procinal and Royal Films to the list of closures.
Editors note: updated on March 17 at 6:00 pm to add Starbucks, Domino’s and Archies to the list of closures.
Editors note: updated on March 19 to add information about a quarantine in Medellín and Antioquia from March 20 to March 24.
Editors note: updated on March 21 to add information about a new quarantine for all of Colombia from March 24 to April 13.
Editors note: updated on March 22, 2020 with information that the Medellín and Antioquia quarantine is now until March 24 at 11:59 pm and the quarantines in Bogotá, Cali and Cartagena are also until March 24 at 11:59 pm.
Editors note: updated on March 23, 2020 with information about what is open during the quarantines in Colombia.
Editors note: updated on March 25, 2020 to add information about the new Pica y Cedula system that limits days you can go grocery shopping in some municipalities during the quarantine.
Editors note: updated on April 6, 2020 to add information that the quarantine in Colombia has been extended to April 26.
Editors note: updated on May 28, 2020 with information that the quarantine in Colombia has been extended to June 30.
Editors note updated on November 25 with information that many places that closed during the quarantine in Colombia have reopened.