Officials have confirmed details of how Argentine citizens and residents can re-apply for permission to circulate amid the extension of the coronavirus pandemic quarantine until June 7.
The government confirmed over the weekend that those seeking freedom of movement to attend work or participated in essential services need to re-apply under a new scheme by May 30. The process will be stricter and more rigorous, with less exemptions set to be granted, officials said. The idea is to restrict freedom of movement in Greater Buenos Aires to only essential workers.
"All those who have the authorisation today, know that it has now expired," President Alberto Fernández declared on Saturday, as he confirmed mandatory isolation would continue in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area.
The announcement was delivered during a press conference at the Olivos presidential residence, at which the Peronist leader was flanked by City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, and Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof.
Fernández emphasised that the government was seeking to restrict circulation in Buenos Aires City and its surroundings and that citizens would have to complete the new Unique Enabling Circulation Certificate (Certificado Único Habilitante de Circulación, CUHC) form.
Since the quarantine kicked in, more than five million people were granted permits to circulate in Greater Buenos Aires – more than 900,000 were granted within the City and more than four million were approved for those living in Buenos Aires Province.
Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero said in a post on Twitter over the weekend that "all persons who carry out essential or excepted tasks must apply or renew, if they already have it, for the" certificate, he said.
"There is time until Friday 29/5 [May 29], inclusive, to apply." he added. "The CUHC will be the only valid certificate to circulate. From 5/30 [May 30] all previous certificates will be invalid."
"As of May 30, there will be no current exception to transit without the Certificado Único," a government spokesperson told the Télam state news agency, adding that this was part of the move to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the metropolitan area.
Only those who fulfil essential services will be able to move between Buenos Aires Province and the capital, the spokesperson added.
The decision comes in the wake of a surge in cases in Greater Buenos Aires. Of the 718 cases confirmed over the last 24 hours, 94 percent are in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan area. The region now accounts for 80 percent of Argentina's total infections since the pandemic began, according to data from the Health Ministry.
How to get your permit
– Citizens and residents can apply for authorisation to circulate until next Friday, inclusive, with the new CUHC permit kicking in from Saturday, May 30.
– Those who live in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area and are exempt from quarantine restrictions, both essential workers and others authorised since March 20, have to re-register.