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MARCH 18, 2020

The President of Chile declares a Constitutional State of Disaster Emergency throughout the whole of Chile

Due to go into effect at midnight on Thursday and will apply for 90 days, it will enable the Government to protect the logistics chain and the movement of medical supplies and patients, to safeguard borders and to protect the production and distribution chains in order to secure supplies, among other measures. It would also allow measures such as quarantines and curfews to be imposed.

37 new cases were confirmed in Chile yesterday, bringing the total to 238 proven cases throughout the country. President Sebastián Piñera has therefore today decreed a Constitutional State of Disaster Emergency throughout the whole of Chile, which will come into effect at midnight on Thursday and will apply for 90 days.

“The objective of this State of Emergency is so we can plan and prepare for the next stages of this pandemic."

The State of Emergency will:

  • Provide greater protection for all hospitals and health care centers.

  • Protect the logistics chain and movement of medical supplies.

  • Facilitate caring for and moving patients and medical staff and evacuating people.

  • Ensure that people comply with quarantine and social isolation measures.

  • Guarantee the production and distribution chain to ensure that citizens have access to normal supplies.

  • Protect and safeguard the country’s borders.

It will also enable various measures to be introduced, such as restricting meetings in public spaces, ensuring the distribution of basic goods and services, building reserves of food and other goods required to care for and sustain the population, establishing quarantines or curfews, drafting measures to protect public services, and limiting the movement of citizens.

The State of Emergency enables the Armed Forces to collaborate in addressing this crisis, and the appointment of National Defense Chiefs, who will take command of the Forces of Public Order and Security in their respective areas in order to safeguard public order and remedy or prevent any damage or danger to national security.

The faculties granted by this State of Emergency and the specific corresponding measures will be introduced progressively as this virus evolves, and citizens will be informed in a timely manner.

"In these times of crisis, the health of the Chilean people is at stake. So, these are times when we need unity, not division. Leadership, not dispersion. Collaboration, not confrontation. Responsibility, not improvisation. Generosity, not selfishness. The serenity and discipline to face this pandemic," the President said. He added "This is a caring country, and I call on all of my fellow Chileans to take care of one another during these difficult times.”