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Cuenca goes from ‘red’ to ‘yellow light’; Curfew starts at 9 p.m. beginning Monday

It looked like business as usual Friday morning in Cuenca’s historic district. (El Mercurio)

The Cuenca Emergency Operations Committee voted Friday night to change from “red” to “yellow light” the city’s health emergency status beginning Monday, May 25.

“We made the determination that conditions are favorable to begin easing the emergency restrictions,” Mayor Pedro Palacios said in a radio interview following the committee meeting. “Hospital capacity for treatment of Covid-19 patients has increased over the past week and the number of emergency calls regarding the virus has declined by more than 50 percent.”

Under yellow light protocols the daily curfew will begin at 9 p.m. and end at 5 a.m.; Private stores and offices and public institutions will be allowed to open with 50 percent of staff and 30 percent capacity of customers and clients on the premises; Owners will be allowed to operate private vehicles two days per week based on license plate numbers; Shopping centers and malls can open with 30 percent capacity of customers; Local and inter-parish buses will be allowed to operate at 30 percent capacity; and all out-patient medical care is authorized.

Private and public businesses and institutions will be responsible for assessing the health of customers and clients entering their primises, including taking body temperatures.

Private vehicles can operate based on the following schedule:

Monday: plates ending in 1 – 2 – 7
Tuesday: plates ending in 3 – 4 – 5 – 8
Wednesday: plates finished at 5 – 6 – 9
Thursday: plates finished at 6 – 7 – 8 – 0
Friday: plates finished in 1 – 9 – 0
Saturday: plates finished in 2 – 3 – 4
Sunday: No private vehicle can circulate without a pass.

Restrictions that do not change under the yellow light rules include:

– The mandatory wearing of facemasks.
– Mass public events, including sports, are prohibited.
– 50% capacity is maintained in food markets, pharmacies and banks.
– Face-to-face classes are suspended.
– Restaurants can provide only take-out orders.
– Interprovincial bus transport of passengers is suspended.
– All land border crossings are closed.
– All national and international air travel is suspended except humanitarian flights.

The COE said it would review the yellow light restrictions again on Friday, May 29.