Medellin plans the “total” reopening of economic activities in the city gradually over the next four months, starting with restaurants, gyms and churches.

Mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, announced on August 24 the “total” reopening of the economic activities of the city, gradually over a period of four months. This decision was made based on the good results obtained by the city in its fight against the COVID-19 virus.

This reopening of economic activities measure extends to the entire Aburrá Valley, since it has the support of the other nine metropolitan mayors, who signed the decree.

This week, an authorization for inter-municipal land transportation for 11 municipalities in the Southwest of Antioquia related to the coffee harvest begins to take effect. This measure has already been approved by the National Government and is expected to be extended to the entire department of Antioquia with the consent of the Ministry of the Interior.

Domestic flights from the Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellín and from José María Córdova Airport, in Rionegro have been approved by the Presidency of the Republic. And the first domestic flights from José María Córdova Airport were last week.

Furthermore, the last day of Pico y Cedula in the Aburrá Valley will be on August 30.

This announcement about reopening of economic activities in Medellín was on the same day as President Duque’s announcement on August 24 that the national quarantine in Colombia ends on September 1.

Parque Arví to open second week in September

Parque Arví to open second week in September

Reopening of Economic Activities in Medellín

Starting on August 31, the opening of the restaurant sector in the Aburrá Valley is approved to start. And the first week of September the plan is to open gymnasiums. The restaurant and gym sectors generate at least 50,000 jobs in the Aburrá Valley.

The Smart Fit in Unicentro mall, plan is to open gyms the second week of September

The Smart Fit in Unicentro mall, plan is to open gyms the second week of September

Also the first week of September, churches will reopen.

The second week of September, open-air theaters and Plaza Mayor can open, which will be able to organize their first events. In addition, sports venues will be able to open. And the bike lanes and Parque Arvi, the Nutibara and El Volador hills, as well as motels will be operational again.

Churches to open first week in September

Churches to open first week in September

In the third week of September, the Parque Norte amusement park and casinos will open.

For the first week of October, the reopening of coliseums is authorized. And the third week of November, discotheques will open.

By December, the La Macarena Entertainment Center will open and the opening of the stadium will enable professional football (soccer) to return.

Parque Norte amusement park to open third week in September

Parque Norte amusement park to open third week in September

Medellín Reopening of Economic Activities Schedule Summary

  • August 31: pilot of reopening of the gastronomic sector (approved).

Planned opening dates of other sectors (pending approval of the National Government)

  • First week of September: gyms, temples and churches.
  • Second week of September: open air theaters, events in Plaza Mayor convention center, sports venues, Parque Arví, Pueblito Paisa, El Volador hill and motels.
  • Third week of September: cinemas, theaters and related, Parque Norte Amusement Park and casinos.
  • First week of October: coliseums.
  • Third week of November: Aeroparque Juan Pablo II, discos and bars.
  • First week of December: La Macarena, football (soccer) stadium and massive events.
Parque Norte to open the third week of September, water ride at Parque Norte amusement park in Medellín, photo courtesy of Parque Norte

Parque Norte to open the third week of September, water ride at Parque Norte amusement park in Medellín, photo courtesy of Parque Norte

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:

Plan to reopen Pueblito Paisa the second week of September, photo by Jenny Bojinova

Plan to reopen Pueblito Paisa the second week of September, photo by Jenny Bojinova

The Bottom Line: Reopening of Economic Activities in Medellín

Previously shopping malls reopened and all kinds of shops opened in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley. Over the next four months most places in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley will be able to gradually open.

Note that biosafety measure will still be in place for all these openings including the requirement to wear face masks.

However, the announcement of the plan for “total” reopening of economic activities in Medellín notably does not include schools and does not mention international flights. Without schools, how can the city claim this is a “total” reopening?

Also, international flights are important to the economy in Medellín and Colombia. Tourism typically represents almost 4 percent of the GDP of Colombia and is the third leading source of foreign exchange for Colombia behind oil and coal.

Tourism before the pandemic was growing at a double digit rate in Colombia. But the entire tourism sector has been hit very hard by the quarantine in Colombia. We plan to look at impacts to tourism industry in Colombia in a future article.

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