Colombia’s quarantine ends on September 1 and Colombia enters a new phase of selective isolation to slow down the transmission of coronavirus in Colombia.

Starting on September 1 the strict national quarantine measures in Colombia will be gone. And Colombia enters a new phase from September 1 and 30 of “selective isolation”, which prioritizes the tracing of contacts, infections and suspects and reactivates economic and social life.

President Iván Duque Márquez announced that the Health Emergency for COVID-19 in Colombia is extended until February 28, 2020. Previously he announced that from September 1, Colombia will experience a reactivation stage.

Duque further stated that Colombia will no longer be governed by exceptions, but by specific restrictions, where restrictions will be applied to events and crowds. And progress will continue in the opening of sectors, with protocols that have been established by the Ministry of Health.

Many Medellin Guru readers have asked “When will the quarantine end in Colombia?”  The definitive answer now is the quarantine ends on September 1.

Line to enter the La Vaquita grocery store in Sabaneta during Pico y Cedula

Line to enter the La Vaquita grocery store in Sabaneta during Pico y Cedula

Colombia’s Quarantine Ends on September 1

Colombia’s initial nationwide quarantine started on March 24 and was originally ending on April 13 but was extended eight times:

  1. On April 6, was extendedto April 26
  2. On April 20, was extendedto May 11.
  3. A third time was extendedto May 25
  4. A fourth time was extendedto May 31
  5. A fifth time was extended to June 30
  6. On June 23, was extended a sixth time toJuly 15
  7. On July 7, was extended a seventh timeto August 1
  8. On July 28, was extended an eighth timeto September 1

So, the national quarantine in Colombia is for a total of 160 days with the national quarantine officially ending on September 1.

Colombia Enters a New Phase 

The new phase the nationwide quarantine in Colombia has to do with the tracking of cases and contacts, through the program of Pruebas, Rastreo y Aislamiento Selectivo Sostenible (Prass) [Tests, Tracking and Sustainable Selective Isolation].

Colombia hopes this will be effective, to reduce the speed of transmission and mortality.

Julián Fernández, Director of Epidemiology and Demography of Minsalud, explained that the key of the new phase is isolation:

“We must clarify that the pillar is the isolation, not the tests, which can cut transmission. We can achieve the same objective of keeping the infection under control.”

President Iván Duque stated that “we have to enter a new phase where there is co-responsibility.”

Also, the president stressed that there will be a daily monitoring of data to assess whether the measure is effective or not, considering that there is a risk that the speed of contagion (Rt) of the virus will accelerate.

According to Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS), Rt in Colombia is currently 1.2, which is the average number of people infected for each positive case. Rt is the measure of how fast a virus is growing.

Coronavirus is Not Nationwide in Colombia

There are over 140 municipalities in Colombia, which haven’t reported a single coronavirus case in over 150 days. Also, many other municipalities in Colombia with one or more total cases, haven’t experienced a new case in over two weeks.

On August 24, according to Colombia Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health):

  • 12.92 percent of municipalities in Colombia do not have even a single coronavirus case,
  • 32.26 percent of municipalities have low affectation,
  • 28.07 percent of municipalities have moderate affectation, and
  • 26.74 percent of municipalities have high affectation.

So, a total of 45 percent of the 1,099 municipalities in Colombia either have no coronavirus cases or low affectation.

Also, we have found in our daily update about Coronavirus in Colombia that 79 percent of coronavirus cases in Colombia in the past 80 days were in only 27 cities in Colombia.

On August 24 Medellin Guru published an article “When Will the Quarantine End?” In our article we thought “a viable option for Colombia may be to end the national quarantine”

A national quarantine is a blunt instrument that is impacting hundreds of municipalities in Colombia (45 percent of municipalities) without a single coronavirus case or low affectation.

The bottom line is the behavior of coronavirus in Colombia has been particular by region. So, Colombia can continue to have quarantines, curfews and other measures in the municipalities that are experiencing a majority of the coronavirus cases in Colombia.

Largest Cities in Colombia Start to Reopen Even More

With a recent decrease in the contagion speed of the virus, the two largest cities such as Bogotá and Medellín announced that they will start to emphasize reactivating the economy.

Bogotá announced that the quarantines in sectors of the city will be lifted on Wednesday. And the Bogotá Mayor, Claudia López, stressed that the city will operate by days and hours, depending on the activity.

For example, essential services such as justice, security or basic necessities will work every day, which will not have any restrictions. While in other sectors, such as construction, work will be from Monday to Saturday, starting after 10:00 a.m.

However, the mayor of Bogotá made it clear that, for now, casinos, cinemas, churches or discos, among others, will not be reactivated in Bogotá.

Medellín Plans the Reopening of Economic Activities in the City

Medellín Plans the Reopening of Economic Activities in the City

In addition, the 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. We have a separate article that looks at Medellín reopening of economic activities.

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:

The Bottom Line: Colombia’s Quarantine Ends on September 1

Colombia has already been slowly lifting the quarantine in Colombia over the past few months with millions returning to work.

On August 24, Colombia decided to end the national quarantine after 160 days on September 1 and enter a new phase. We believe many readers will be relieved to hear the quarantine is ending.

The question now becomes will coronavirus cases start to increase in Colombia after the quarantine ends? We track the coronavirus cases daily in Colombia. So, you can see if the cases start to increase.

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Editors note: updated on November 26, 2020 with information that the health emergency in Colombia is extended to February 28, 2021.

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