Over 120 municipalities in Colombia can reopen gymnasiums and churches. Also, movie theaters and restaurants can reopen and bars can reopen without alcohol.

With the intention of continuing with the reactivation of the economy in the country, according to El Colombiano, the Ministry of the Interior gave authorization for over 120 municipalities to carry out pilots to open restaurants and gyms, and to carry out religious services. Also, bars and movie theaters can reopen.

Smart Fit gym in Colombia, gyms can start to reopen but only in municipalities with mayor approval

Smart Fit gym in Colombia, gyms can start to reopen but only in municipalities with mayor approval

Reopening Gymnasiums, Churches, Restaurants and Bars in Colombia

The Ministry of the Interior gave authorization to more than 120 municipalities to start pilots of reopening restaurants, gymnasiums and religious services in churches. However, the list of over 120 municipalities was not provided.

The next step is for the mayors of each municipality to provide biosafety protocols for reopening. In Barranquilla, this already happened with 30 restaurants opened.

Restaurants, bars, gymnasiums and churches may open if the local municipality submits a request to the Ministry of the Interior, which must approve the request.

Bars can reopen but without alcohol sales, only non-alcoholic drinks and food

Bars can reopen but without alcohol sales, only non-alcoholic drinks and food

In addition, to restaurants and gymnasiums, bars are permitted to reopen according to decree 1076 of 2020. Bars can reportedly reopen in municipalities with no or low impact from coronavirus, as well as in those with moderate and high. However, bars can reopen only without alcohol sales.

The operation of the bars, in accordance with the authorizations issued by the Ministry of the Interior, will be carried out without the sale of alcoholic beverages, their operation is the same as that of restaurants or food outlets.

Restaurants, bars, gymnasiums and churches may open if the local municipality submits a request to the Ministry of the Interior, which must approve the request.

Also, the Colombian government is working on a new decree for September 1, which will enable, gradually and with biosafety protocols, the consumption of alcohol in bars and restaurants.

Some parts of Medellín and the Aburrá Valley planned a pilot of restaurants reopening with table service. However, only a few of these restaurants we have confirmed have reopened for table service such as Viejo John in Sabaneta.

Cine Colombia in Oviedo Mall in El Poblado, Medellín

Cine Colombia in Oviedo Mall in El Poblado, Medellín

Movie Theaters and Theaters Can Reopen in Colombia

According to Semana, on August 14, the Colombian government issued a resolution that allows movie theaters and theaters to open Colombia under certain protocols. However, establishments must demonstrate that they comply with biosafety measures.

Resolution 1408 of 2020 states that move theaters and theaters need to comply with biosafety protocols, which are under the supervision of the Secretariat or municipal or district entity where theaters are located. Reopening theaters also requires the endorsement of each mayor or governor.

Among the guidelines set by the ministry for reopening movie theaters and theaters in Colombia include:

  • No food permitted inside the premises
  • Do not exceed 50 percent of the maximum capacity
  • Leave two chairs between each attendee and leave an empty row
  • Windows and doors must remain open to allow natural ventilation

Cine Colombia, the largest movie theater chain in Colombia plans to coordinate the next step with municipal governments, initially for drive-in theaters. Cine Colombia indicates it will work to adapt its other movie theaters in Colombia to comply with all the biosafety protocols required.

We have a separate guide to movies theaters in Colombia. Also, we have reviewed several of the theaters in Medellín.

Computer generated image of COVID-19, photo by Felipe Esquivel Reed

Computer generated image of COVID-19, photo by Felipe Esquivel Reed

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:

Inside a church in Colombia, religious services can resume but a list of municipalities where church services can resume has not been provided

The Bottom Line: Reopening Gymnasiums, Churches, Movie Theaters and Restaurants in Colombia 

Colombia’s nationwide quarantine started on March 24. So, for almost five months, movie theaters, theaters, gymnasiums, churches, bars and table service at restaurants have been closed.  If these places can’t reopen, how can they survive?

The bottom line is that gymnasiums, churches, restaurants, movie theaters and theaters are now permitted to start reopening in Colombia. But some of this reopening is initially limited to about 120 municipalities. Unfortunately no list of these municipalities was provided by the government.

In addition, reopening needs the approval of the local mayor or governor and approval of the Ministry of the Interior.

For example, Barranquilla already received authorization and opened 30 restaurants for table service.

In all cases, the reopening requires biosafety measure including the use of face masks and keeping social distance between customers.

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