On Thursday, March 19, the President of Argentina announced emergency measures to ameliorate the effects of COVID-19.  These measures, effective one minute after midnight on March 20th, ordered shelter-in-place and social distancing for all persons in the country.  The emergency lockdown is in place through March 31, 2020 but may be extended, if the government determines that it is necessary  

The emergency measures are drastic in scope, effectively prohibiting persons from leaving their homes, except for grocery shopping, pharmacy purchases, and a select few other essential purposes.  Nonetheless, to keep the country’s essential services intact, there are exemptions to the lockdown. 

Several clients have contacted us to discuss whether they can continue to operate, at least on a skeleton crew.  Perhaps you have a similar question.  Thus, we have listed many of those essential services (basically, those involving the private sector) in the section below.  This is a dynamic situation and, if you have a doubt as to whether you or your client can continue to operate, please contact us.

Industries Exempted from COVID-19 Lockdown

·         Hospital and healthcare.

·         Food and hygiene industries and their critical supply chain; manufacturers of medical equipment, pharmaceutical supplies and vaccines.

·         Security and Armed Forces personnel, border control, fire and air traffic control.

·         Senior government officials and their employees (national, provincial and municipal governments), and the skeleton judiciary staff handling emergency matters.

·         Foreign diplomatic and consular staff, Red Cross and other government personnel providing humanitarian services.

·         Radio, television and print media.

·         Critical infrastructure projects and public utilities.

·         Public passenger transport and the transport of goods, oil, fuels and LPG.

·         Home delivery of food, medicines, care and cleaning products and essential supplies.

·         Postal and parcel delivery services.

·         Essential surveillance, maintenance, and security services.

·         Minimum services to ensure the operation and maintenance of oil and gas fields and treatment or refining plants.

·         The transport and distribution of electrical energy, liquid fuels, oil and gas, and gas stations and electrical energy generators.

·         Wholesale and retail supermarkets, local retailers selling essential goods and services, including pharmacies, hardware stores, and veterinarians.

·         Businesses involved in the manufacture, distribution and commercialization of agricultural and fishing products.

·         Telecommunication industry, including telephony and cellular internet and digital services.

·         Foreign trade activities that cannot be deferred.

·         The collection, transport and treatment of solid, hazardous, and pathogenic waste.

·         The National Mint, ATM services, cash transport services and such other activities that the Central Bank shall determine are essential to the payment of goods and services.

Additional Exceptions

On the evening of March 20, the government announced additional flexibility for certain activity.  The most relevant of these refers to any industries carrying out ongoing processes, the disruption of which would cause structural damage to production lines or equipment and machinery.

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For more information on the above, please contact Gonzalo M. Soto ([email protected]) or Mariela del Carmen Caparrós ([email protected]).

The foregoing article is a description of publicly available information and is not intended as legal advice or as a comprehensive analysis of the matters referred to herein.